NCC update upbeat

The NCC update on efforts to create the Urban Wilderness Park at Williams Lake, held at the Saraguay House yesterday evening, was well attended, upbeat and even mellow at the same time. The mellowness reflected the beautiful setting on the Arm and the serene spring evening.

Three people spoke briefly. To paraphrase their themes:

Craig Smith: The urban wilderness park is going ahead, no question. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is excited about its first venture into an urban space, and sees it as a unique opportunity to connect urban folk with wilderness and hence to generate support for protecting wilderness areas more broadly.

Steve Adams: The councillors voted 15 to zero in favour of it. That’s unheard of!

Marla Cranston: My working days are stressful as they are for so many of us. Being able within a few minutes to access a wilderness area after work and on weekend keeps me going and inspired. It’s an incredible asset for working people and families.

For more information about the Urban Wilderness Park and how to support it, visit: www.natureconservancy.ca/wildparkhrm.

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Monday May 7, 2018: Urban Wilderness Park update

Received from the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC):

“Please join us and NCC for an update on efforts to create the Urban Wilderness Park at Williams Lake.

“The Nature Conservancy of Canada is hosting an open house and would love to meet with everyone who has followed and supported efforts to protect this important wilderness area.

“Monday May 7, 2018
5:00-7:00 pm – Saraguay House
The Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron
360 Purcells Cove Rd, Halifax, NS
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Happy Earth Day

A wilderness in our midst

We have lots to celebrate right here in the Backlands, as discovered by John DeMont as he followed Greg Smith over “eight kilometres of foot-trod trail” in the chunk of the Purcell’s Cove Backlands lying between Williams and Colpitt lakes; once destined to be developed, it is now en route to becoming an “urban wilderness park”.

Said DeMont:

Somewhere nearby a man my age was sweating about his taxes or banging his head against his keyboard after his hard drive failed.
I, however, was walking beside a stream, next to a stand of woods that could have been there for the past century, for a little while longer
oblivious to the weight of life.

View DeMONT:Going into the wild, but not out of town
John DeMont in the Chronicle Herald, Apr 19, 2018

One good reason for conserving the Backlands

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April 12, 2018: Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park Citizen’s Meeting

“All are invited to a public meeting on April 12th for updates and information on park progress. We will also explore interest in forming a citizen’s group, such as a “Friends of Blue Mountain” group, to speak up for creation of the promised park and collaborate with the municipality and other levels of government.
Please come to St. Peter’s Anglican Church Hall from 7-9pm on Thursday, April 12th.
There will be a formal presentation at 7:15, and opportunity for questions and public comments at 8pm.”
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Nature Conservancy of Canada proposes innovative approach to accessing new wilderness area: underground parking and elevator

“In September HRM [Halifax Regional Municipality] announced that the tentative agreement for the Urban Wilderness Park on the Purcell’s Cove Backlands would include a parking lot and main entrance.

“Since then some questions have been raised about the concept and possible scale of parking adjacent to a wilderness area.

“Nature Conservancy Canada in partnership with urban parking specialists UrbanMobility has arrived at a solution that will provide for those who visit by car while meeting the concerns of conservationists.
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Geoffrey Grantham works at Baka Gallery Cafe in Toronto

GG“Geoffrey Grantham began painting en plein air early in his career, in 1995. He paints throughout his native Nova Scotia, but has repeatedly returned to certain inspiring locations, such as the globally rare barrens found in the Purcell’s Cove Backlands. Located just outside the city of Halifax, this unique landscape is characterized by jack pines growing among spectacular whaleback rock formations. He also returns to the stark, majestic Cape Breton Highlands as well as the expansive Annapolis Valley.” Read more, view more Exhibit at Baka Gallery Cafe

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Land purchased for Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes

EAC photo“On January 18, the Halifax Regional Municipality purchased approximately 197 acres of lands to form part of a Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park. This important acquisition marks the first parcel of land to be acquired by the municipality towards the creation of the regional park, which is proposed in the municipality’s Regional Plan…

“The Hobson Lake lands have been acquired from West Bedford Holdings and will both enable public access into the regional park and support the protected wilderness area by acting as a buffer between it and developed lands. ”

Read more from HRM announcement
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Time to update plans for suburban and rural communities

Our HRM Alliance launched a “Proposal for a Regional Main Streets Plan” at Station Six on Herring Cove Road on January 9, 2018.
Read the announcement:

Halifax has a problem. Communities throughout the region have big ideas, but for many, their official plans have not been updated in decades. Only with updated plans can transit and development investment work together to create great main streets, places that make life convenient and affordable, and that form the centre of local pride.
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Thurs. 5 Oct 2017: Public Information Meeting for proposed Shaw Urban Wilderness Park

SUWPHalifax Regional Council has tentatively agreed to purchase lands from Clayton Developments (Shaw Group) and enter into a conservation easement agreement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to establish a wilderness park in the Williams Lake area of Halifax.

The agreement is subject to public consultation, the development of a suitable park entrance, and NCC fundraising.

A public information meeting will be held Thursday, Oct 5, 2017 at the Capt. William Spry Centre, 16 Sussex Street, Halifax beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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McIntosh Run Trails Opening Sept. 25th

Mac RunFrom the Mac Run folks:

The McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) is pleased to announce the official opening of the first 2 km of singletrack trails in the McIntosh Run Trail System. Join us for ribbon-cutting and trail tours (hiking and biking) on Monday September 25th at 6:00 pm at the Norawarren Drive Park in Herring Cove (map to trailhead). The trails were built by volunteer labour, with financial and in-kind support from the Province of Nova Scotia, Dillon Consulting, Scotia Scapes Landscaping, BroMoc Print, Custom Clean Atlantic and Bicycle Nova Scotia. MRWA volunteers have invested over 2000 hours in building these trails – come help us celebrate this achievement!

The McIntosh Run Trail System will be over 25 km of singletrack trails for non-motorized recreation on public land between Spryfield and Herring Cove, authorized by the Province and HRM, designed, built and managed by MRWA, with funding from private and public sources. The system will connect Spryfied to Herring Cove through a combination of new trails and adopted existing informal trails. The trails are designed and built for (and by) hikers, bikers, runners and snowshoers according to standards used worldwide for shared non-motorized singletrack trails. We aim to draw a diversity of people into the wild areas surrounding the McIntosh Run, and to make it fun so that kids of all ages will want to come back again and again.

The McIntosh Run flows from Long Lake, through Spryfield, across the “Backlands” and into the ocean at Herring Cove. The McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) was founded in 1994 to protect the river and its watershed. We promote awareness and stewardship of the river and the watershed by facilitating sustainable public access to the wild lands surrounding the river.

To learn more about MRWA and the trails please visit our website: www.mcintoshrun.ca

We hope to see you on Monday!

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