NCC Art in the Wilderness Sun Aug 26th, Halifax Wilderness Park campaign launch Thurs Sep 20, 2018

A few updates from NCC:

1) Our final event of the summer, Art in the Wilderness is happening next Sunday! There’s an opportunity to try painting with Renee Forrestall, nature crafts (great for kids and adults), and wilderness photography! (Facebook Event)

2) SAVE THE DATE (info below) for the Halifax Wilderness Park campaign launch!

Psssttt… The rumours are true: You can help Keep Halifax Wild!

— just minutes from downtown with lakes, hiking trails to explore, and panoramic views. The proposed site of the Halifax Wilderness Park also contains rare forest and intact wildlife habitat; including more than 40 species of breeding birds.

We’d love to tell you more, so please save the date and join us for the launch of the fundraising campaign for the Halifax Wilderness Park —

Thursday, September 20, 2018*
Neptune Theatre
1593 Argyle Street, Halifax, NS
**more details to come

3) Are there events or themes you would like to see for public walks/hikes in the Backlands? Please let me know and I will work to incorporate them into our fall hikes!


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Question called, and Motion passes!! The Halifax Green Network Plan has been passed at Council!!!

A festive group greeted Councillors this am
including Lisa Blackburn (3rd pic down)
& Lindell Smith (4th pic)

So reads a final Tweet from this morning from Our HRM Alliance.

View Council eagerly approves Halifax Green Network Plan by Yvette D’Entremont in the StarMetro Halifax (Aug 14, 218) for more details and comments by Walter Regan of the Sackville Rivers Association.

The sequence of Tweets from @OurHRMAlliance:

56m56 minutes ago
HRM Planner Ben Sivak is here to present the final draft of the Plan and to introduce the background. “There has been 3 rounds of public engagement, the State of the Landscape Report, and this is the first time we’ve been able to look at HRM as an entire landscape.”

54m54 minutes ago
Sivak – “The Halifax Region has incredible assets in wilderness and recreation. The intent of this Plan is to build on these assets and protect what we have here.”

Continue reading

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Tues Aug 14, 2018: Rally to support the Green Network Plan

Our HRM Alliance Photo

From OurHRM Alliance:

“Join us on Tuesday, August 14th at 9:00 (ish) to show your support for the Halifax Green Network Plan!

“The Green Network Plan will FINALLY be going to Council that day at 10:00AM. We want to be there with signs, smiles, and support to ask the 16 Councillors to vote YES to pass this incredible plan. The Councillors typically begin arriving around 9:00, so pop by while you can during that hour, or come and stay the whole time!

“We’ll be having a sign-making party the night before at Ecology Action Centre. Either make your own sign, or borrow one of ours for the day!

“There will also be a crew of people attending the Council meeting to watch the presentation and debate and show our support. Feel free to join for this as well, if you’re interested. Want some more info about the Green Network Plan? Check out

View Facebook Event Page

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Wed Aug 29, 2018: Fate and Transport of Road Salt Chloride in Urbanizing Watersheds

Dr. Claire Oswald

August 29th, 2018 **12PM**
Dalhosuie Univ Faculty of Engineering, Sexton B-228 (with Lunch)

Special Guest Lecture in Hydrology
Fate and Transport of Road Salt Chloride in Urbanizing Watersheds

Dr. Claire Oswald, BSc (Hons.) MSc, McM, PhD, Ryerson University Assistant
Professor, Geography & Environmental Studies

View Announcement with abstract

Thx to MZ for forwarding this info.

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The Diverse and Magical Landscapes of Williams Lake Wilderness

Meredith, Jack Pines in foreground,
foggy peninsular Halifax in the distance.
Click on image to enlarge it

That’s the title of an Nature Conservancy of Canada walk led by David P (aka Jack Pine) and Meredith Baldwin on Sunday July 29.

The walk had been delayed a week and the weather was quite iffy on the morning we finally did it, which is likely why only about half of the originally registered participants showed up. But it turned out to be perfect weather with a cool, very light foggy drizzle in the beginning offering some respite from the extra hot days we have been having; then there was cloud cover and a bit of a breeze and only as we approached the dam, did the skies clear and it begin to get hot.

We made 8 stops; at each I talked about what they would see ahead and a little about the human history. The stops were Continue reading

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Williams Lake Conservation Company 50 th Anniversary Party

Wms lakeWhen: Saturday, September 22, 2018 Doors open at 5 pm

Where: Purcell’s Cove Social Club, 505 Purcell’s Cove Road

– Eat! Drink! And Dance to the music of Lime Rickey Band
– Silent and Live Auctions (cash or cheque only), Food, Cash Bar

Proceeds to go to the Nature Conservancy of Canada for the Halifax Wilderness Park in the Purcell’s Cove Backlands

Tickets are limited and go on sale August 1st

Watch for more information

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Williams Lake AGM Monday June 11

“Come to the AGM to learn about Willliams Lake. We will have a shortened meeting followed by an opportunity to socialize and discuss what we still need to do to see a major portion of the watershed become a protected urban wilderness.”

View May 2018 Newsletter

It contains info about the developing Wilderness Park, results of lake water quality testing and discussion of road salt issues.

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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:

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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
Continue reading

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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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