Backlands Coalition Response to the Housing Accelerator Fund proposed amendments Regarding the Suburban Development Requests:
Our position reflects our values
The mission of the Backlands Coalition: to ensure no loss of wildlife habitat in the Backlands and to preserve them for natural, historical, cultural, conservation, educational, recreational and common use. There are two major watersheds that are present in the Backlands, the Williams Lake Watershed and the McIntosh Run Watershed. We have an interest and a stewardship responsibility in maintaining the integrity of these two watersheds.
An unprecedented degree of development and growth is slated for Spryfield. We are very aware that growth is necessary in our area. We believe that growth should enhance the community, enrich its character and promote sustainability. In addition to the Suburban Development Requests there are other site-specific requests and developments already approved for the Spryfield area. Each new request needs to be considered within the context of the whole Spryfield community and the capacity of the current infrastructure to support this growth. Continue reading
It’s item No 15.1.4 on the Agenda for today (Dec 12, 2023)
That Halifax Regional Council:
1. Suspend the rules of procedure under Schedule 5, the Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee Terms of Reference, of Administrative Order One, the Procedures of the Council Administrative Order;
2. Direct the Mayor to write a letter of support to the City of Montreal for Halifax Regional Municipality to become a signatory of The Montréal Pledge.
View Details. Continue reading
By: Cathy Vaughan
Reprinted with permission from Chebucto News
Besides healthy sea breezes, the Northwest Arm has gifted HRM citizens with beauty, peace, recreation, fishing and transportation. This popular, well-loved public waterway is now facing a complicated dilemma with the existence of outdated “pre-confederation” water lots. This designation gives these unique waterfront properties a potential extension of the property beyond the shoreline, into the waters of the Northwest Arm.
There are 155 “pre-confederation” deeded waterfront lots on the Northwest Arm that extend beyond the shoreline. Pre 1867 the deeds gave landowners access to the water and allowed for the construction of wharfs, fish sheds, docks and boat moorings. Fast forward to today’s situation where some shorelines have already been filled in with rock, silt and soil, effectively creating a landmass into the Arm. While this additional land increases the property value for owners there are some present-day issues and concerns that are being hotly debated. Continue reading
Public notice posted next to the dam. Phot by Cathy Vaughan
From the Williams Lake Conservation Company:
Dear Members and Friends of the Williams Lake Conservation Company:
We’re excited to update you on the long-standing issue of the Williams Lake Dam!
Build Nova Scotia has issued the following public service announcement regarding preliminary assessment work that will be taking place in the area of the dam. Equipment necessary for this work will be accessing the area by the Shaw Wilderness Park trail beginning this month: Continue reading
So writes Matt Stickland in The Coast
“One of the recurring complaints about citizen participation at municipal meetings is that it’s hard—logistically and practically taxing—to speak at public meetings. It’s hard for people who work the 9-to-5 grind to speak on a weekday at 10am, 1pm or 6pm. And it’s hard for people on the fringes, the Ecum Secums of the world, to drive two hours to City Hall, just to speak for five minutes. But that all changes today…” .
Read more in It’s never been easier to yell at councillors by Matt Stickland in The Coast, Nov 14, 2023
Thx Matt, Thx HRM
. Screen capture of image in CBC story
Click on images for larger versions
On Nov 2, 2023, I happened to view a CBC TV News item item about “Montreal… building dozens of ‘sponge parks’ to soak up excess rain
I was struck by one scene in particular, of a linear sponge park alongside a paved street (see image at right) – it could almost have been taken on the “Whaleback Barrens” in the Backlands, where wetlands/watercourses occur in the troughs or gullies between the whalebacks. Continue reading
McIntosh Run Watershed, 2022, with current and Phase 2 trails. Image from MWRA website. Click on image for large version on MWRA website
In June of this year, HRM Planners submitted a draft of the Municipal Regional Plan and asked for feedback from the community. That consultation period was concluded on Oct 27, 2023.
McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) submitted comments to the planners on Oct 25, 2023. View post describing MRWA’s feedback to the HRM Draft Plan on the MWRA website: HRM DRAFT REGIONAL PLAN: FEEDBACK AND LONG-TERM CONSERVATION AND TRAIL CONCEPTS
As a large portion of the McIntosh Run Watershed lies outside of the Backlands, the comments apply to both to the Backlands and to areas outside of the ‘Backlands’ (as usually defined). Continue reading
In June of this year, HRM Planners submitted a draft of the Municipal Regional Plan and asked for feedback from the community. That consultation period is now over and the Backlands Coalition has submitted detailed comments to the planners.
Our submission highlights issues of special importance to HRM, the nearby communities of Spryfield, Williams Lake, Purcells Cove, Fergusons Cove and parts of Herring Cove that surround the Backlands.
The overriding theme is the maintenance and viability of the Backlands as essential natural infrastructure, habitat for a diversity of wildlife and recreation space for Haligonians.
View Issues of Critical Importance in the HRM Draft Regional Plan
Prepared by The Backlands Coalition, Submitted to HRM Oct 27, 2023. (PDF, 18 pages, 4.7 MB) Continue reading
The fire-adapted, fire-dependent and fire-stimulating “Globally Rare & Nationally Unique” (and incredibly beautiful) Jack Pine-Broom Crowberry community in an area of whalebacks in the Backlands. This site was “ready to burn” in 2013 and is even more ready in 2023 – are WE ready for it to burn?
Click on images for larger versions
Yours Truly (David P) talked about Fires, Conservation and Fire Management in the Halifax Backlands in an online presentation to the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society on Oct 29, 2023.
The presentation is available on YouTube and the slide deck is available at www.versicolor.ca/fire. Some “Useful Links” are given at the versicolor site, and the video can be downloaded from that site.
This topic has many layers, there are lots of materials and I just touch on them in the presentation. I have made the slide deck available so those interested can download it if they want to study individual slides in more detail. Continue reading
Click on image for larger version
Spryfield Community Meeting – District 11
Date: 6 November 2023
Place: Captain William Spry Recreation Centre, Multipurpose room
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
If you are unable to attend, please consider completing the online survey at
Extracts from www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/hrva
Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Assessment
To keep improving how we make decisions, understand community vulnerabilities, and mitigate emergency risks and hazards, the Halifax Regional Municipality Emergency Management Division is conducting a Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (HRVA), starting spring 2023. Continue reading