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:

We hope to see you on Monday!

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Saturday, September 16th, 2017: Purcell’s Pond Hike with Our HRM Alliance and Trips by Transit

Purcell's PondWhen: Saturday, September 16th, 10:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.
Meeting Place: 2705 Fern Lane, Halifax (we’ll catch the bus from North Street)
Details: Join us for an adventure on the bus out to Purcell’s Cove to hike in the Backlands to Purcell’s Pond. For those coming from the City, meet at 2705 Fern Lane at 10:00a.m., for those who’d like to meet us in Purcell’s Cove, we’ll be arriving at civic address #557 Purcell’s Cove Rd (Conservation Lands entrance) at around 11:00, so please aim to be there promptly so that we can have everyone’s waivers signed. This is also a chance to learn about the work that Trips by Transit does, and the Green Network Campaign that Our HRM Alliance has been spearheading, which will be ramping up this fall!

View Facebook Event Page
If you plan on attending, please email to confirm.

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Urban wilderness park given the go-ahead

dsc04180From HRM (Sep 6, 2011):

Halifax Regional Council has tentatively agreed to establish an urban wilderness park to be known as the Shaw Wilderness Park, through the acquisition of what are informally known as the Purcell’s Cove Backlands.

The deal-in-principle came together thanks to the hard work of municipal staff, along with representatives from The Shaw Group and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).

The purchase of approximately 380 acres (154 hectares) of natural greenspace is contingent on successful fundraising by NCC, but would result in yet another crown jewel of untouched parkland that would serve as a benefit to Halifax residents in perpetuity.

“Through the hard work of many partners we are closer than ever to realizing the desire to preserve these unique wilderness lands for the use of many generations to come,” said Mayor Mike Savage. “As our city grows, it is more important than ever to preserve natural recreational spaces.”
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Barred Owl one km from my residence in peninsular Halifax

DSC01062“Barred Owl: Uncommon resident. Breeds. Our most common owl. Occurs in woods of old growth and is seldom seen elsewhere…nest: usually 4-12 m up in a hollow hardwood tree in mixed hard and soft growth…” – Birds of Nova Scotia 3rd ed Robie Tufts 1986. Recorded as nesting in Williams Lake Backlands by Fulton Lavender. Viewed today below “The Gully”, barely 1 km from my residence in peninsular Halifax.

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Sat June 3, 2017: EAC Guided Hike in Backlands for members

Date: Saturday, June 3, 2017 –
10:00 to 12:30
The EAC is encouraging all members to come out to the Purcell’s Cove Backlands for a hike on Saturday, June 3. Come take in the spring beauty of one of the HRM’s many forests and learn about the Green Network Plan in the process!

See EAC for details.

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Tues June 6, 2017: Williams lake Conservation Company AG

DATE: 6 June, 2017
TIME: 7 pm – 9 pm
LOCATION: Capt. William Spry Community Centre, Room #2
Free and open to the public

Join us to learn about Willliams Lake, and hear updates on the Nature Conservancy of Canada proposal to preserve the Backlands as an urban wilderness park.

Presentations will include recent discussions with Halifax Regional Municipality about limits to the salting of roads in the watershed area, and other topics of interest to all those who enjoy Williams Lake and the Backlands.

The Williams Lake Conservation Company is a non-profit volunteer organization. We welcome everyone who shares the WLCC’s interest in preserving the health of Williams Lake for the enjoyment of all.

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