Tues Sep 24 2019 at 6PM at Halifax City Hall: Important Public Hearing on Green Network Plan – re Wildlife Corridors

UPDATE Wed Sep 25, 2019: The Amendment “to the Regional Plan’s conservation design development agreement policies to specifically reference the Important and Essential Corridors shown on Map 5)”  received unanimous approval at yesterdays meeting of Halifax Regional Council!!!!


Map 5 in the Halifax Green Network Plan
Click on image for larger version and legend

Halifax (HRM) is blessed with phenomenal natural assets. In June of 2018, Regional Council tabled the Final Draft of the The Halifax Green Network Plan  which “provides land management and community design direction to:
– maintain ecologically and culturally important land and aquatic systems;
– promote the sustainable use of natural resources and economically important open spaces; and
– identify, define and plan land suited for parks and corridors”

The Essential and Important Corridors shown in Map 5 above allow movement genetic exchange of plants and animals, large and small, between otherwise isolated patches of natural habitat within HRM and across the boundaries of HRM. Without those corridors, biodiversity and ecosystems services provided by our natural spaces will inevitably decline – such habitat fragmentation and isolation is a major driver of the massive species losses currently in progress globally and locally.

Legislative followup to the HGNP is required to actually protect those corridors and  is urgent as some development has already occurred or been approved within those corridors,

“Consequently, to avoid potential conflicts in the near term, staff recommend a narrowly focused amendment to the Regional Plan’s conservation design development agreement policies to specifically reference the Important and Essential Corridors shown on Map 5, Green Network Ecology Map, contained in the HGNP. This will provide a clearer, more up-to-date basis for municipal staff and developers to consider such corridors as part of the conservation design development agreement process.”

HRM is only considering this change – it hasn’t happened yet. We need your help to ensure that they amend the Regional Plan to require all conservation design (rural residential development) to plan based on the ecological findings of the Green Network Plan.

What you can do: attend the hearing or write in advance (by 3 pm Monday, Sep 23 see below for venues) to support the amendment, asking HRM to not allow development to compromise connectivity or the ecological network in any way.

Even a few words to your  Councillor and Mayor Savage will help e.g., to  say you are strongly in support of an amendment to the Regional Plan’s conservation design development agreement policies to specifically reference the Important and Essential Corridors shown on Map 5 .
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NCC/HRM Wilderness Park funding on final stretch

Jack Pine/Broom
Crowberry barrens are
nationally unique and
globally rare

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is making appeals to help them (us) to cross the finish line for financing of the ‘urban wilderness’ park on the Clayton lands in the area of Williams and Colpitt Lakes. An $8 million project, it is now 95% there. View Soon-to-open Halifax Wilderness Park needs $375,000 to unlock final federal funding by Nicole Munro for the Chronicle Herald July 11, 2019.

The Wilderness Park lands
are the largest privately
held property in the Backlands.
Protection will facilitate
connectivity and protect
the key urban-wilderness
interface at the NW end of
the Backlands

It’s been a long stretch from the days back in 2012 when we learned that this largest block of privately-held land (approx 375 acres, 153 hectares) in the Backlands had been sold to a developer.

Flash forward, and now it is about to become an ‘urban wilderness park’ which, as well as being a phenomenal asset in its own right, breaks new ground in several respects: a developer moving from wanting to develop the land to wanting to protect it; HRM contributing significant funds to the purchase of privately owned land for protection; and the Nature Conservancy of Canada getting involved in planning, managing and financing an ‘urban’ wilderness.
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Bus and Ferry News

Info forwarded by Nathan Brett, June 27, 2019:

Two items that might be of interest to you

1) Halifax Transit will not reduce the #15 to rush hour only this August as had been suggested. It does plan to do so on November 25th of this year. I think we can expect Quinpool Road to be open again by that time, so the rotary may be working bit better.

2) As many of you probably know, the ferry service across the arm is now operating. It is operated by North West Arm Boat Tours. Here is the link to the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/NWAFerry/

The normal landing is at the foot of Jubilee Road right now because the wharf at the foot Oakland Road has not yet been put in. However, the operator told me that he will take people over to Oakland Road, where they can step out onto the rocks.

Thx, Nathan

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McIntosh Run Watershed Association hiring Trail Crew

“The McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) is hiring energetic people to form a Trail Crew to build singletrack trails between Spryfield and Herring Cove, Nova Scotia”. View details

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May 29, 2019 (7:00PM – 8:15PM): Our Storied Local Landscape

Hikers captivated by the Jack Pine/Crowberry barrens

Author’s Stage: Our Storied Local Landscape
When: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 (7:00PM – 8:15PM)
Where: Captain William Spry Public Library, Spryfield

Local author Carol Bruneau reads from her latest novel, A Circle on the Surface, set in Halifax’s Mainland South in a fictional version of Sambro and surrounding communities.

The reading will be accompanied by a presentation from Kathleen Hall of the Williams Lake Conservation Company, which has been a driving force in lobbying for the new Halifax Wilderness Park in this same area.

More information about the Halifax Wilderness Park movement can be found at www.keephalifaxwild.ca.

More about this Halifax Public Libraries Event

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Chuck-Will’s-Widow sighted in Halifax

Pixellated small copy of the
Facebook Page post. Click on
image to go to the FB page.

A post by Nature Photographer Simon d’Entremont on his Facebook page is attracting lots of attention – and envy amongst bird-watchers

Says Simon:

One of the rarest and most unusual birds I’ll ever get to photograph in Nova Scotia. The last recorded sighting of this bird in the province was 10 years ago. He’s sleeping here, waiting for nightfall to go out and eat flies. A relative of the Common Nighthawk, it also has an unusual name. Thanks to Jason Dain for the heads-up!

Fulton Lavender reported a sighting in the Williams Lake Backlands in 2014.

It’s always welcome back!

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# 15…

On a Facebook post today:

The CH article (subscription required)

Screen capture of the top of the CH article (before stuff blocked the view):

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No 15 nixed

No more, courtesy of 9 versus 7 in council

Bus route 15 to be discontinued
Nov 30, 2018


This week, regional council voted in favour of implementing routing and peak perod service for Route 415 in the Purcells Cove area, sporadically replacing the Route 15 service in accordance with the Moving Forward recommendations. The 415 would run the extent of the existing route, both ways from Bayers Road to York Redoubt, but only during peak hours from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m until 6 p.m. Bus 15 currently runs from 6 a.m., to 8 p.m.

“It’s a normal-sized bus that is totally underutilized at that time of the day,” he [Wells] said. “To be fair, there are two sides to every story. Really, what we need to do in this part of Halifax is to have better service and get people out of their darn cars. When I stand waiting for the bus and when I am walking home, virtually every car that passes me in either direction is a driver-only car Coun. Steve Adams (Spryfield-Sambro Loop-Prospect Road) tried to head off the bus-altering motion at Tuesday’s meeting, asking his colleagues to defer the discussion and vote until a later date. The vote on Adams’ motion did not pass, even though it achieved an 8-8 vote. Councillors then voted 9-7 for the motion to have the 415 routed for peak-hour service as an alternative to Route 15.

It has not been specified when the route changes will occur.

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Update on the #15: Council Meeting on Tuesday Nov 27, 2018

BusFrom Nathan Brett:

Council Meeting Announcement

Regional Council will consider the motion to cut service to the Cove area to rush hour only (weekdays only) at the meeting this Tuesday, November 27 which starts at 1:00 p.m. If you can, Please Attend! The public will NOT be able to speak to the motion at this meeting – but having a strong show of support may influence Council!

Please Note: Alternate Location because of construction (see below). The motion is 14th on the agenda, but it is impossible to predict exactly when it will come up, since Council sometimes amends the agenda. So please be there around 1:00 p.m.

From the Agenda:

Halifax Regional Council
Date: November 27, 2018
Time: 1:00 p.m., Reconvene 6:00 p.m.
Location: Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, Acadia Ballroom – 1919 Upper Water Street, Halifax

14.2.1 Alternative Options – Route 15 Purcells Cove [PDF – 13 Mb]
(click on this link to get a copy of the report)

That Halifax Regional Council direct staff to implement routing and peak period service for the Route 415 as described in the approved Moving Forward Together Plan.

[#415 is the new number for the cut version of the #15]

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#15 Bus Action Committee letter to HRM Council, the Mayor and Transit staff

BusThis is it … the last week of the campaign to save the #15 bus from further cuts. Just a friendly reminder to get your letters about the #15 bus into clerks@halifax.ca (with instructions: “Please circulate to members of Council, the Mayor and Transit staff”) as soon as possible (they are due Friday (Nov 23) morning but please get them in sooner if you can)! Your support and letters can make a difference. Please remember to cc the letters to Councillor Stephen.adams@halifax.ca and to nbrett@dal.ca.

Nathan Brett wrote this letter on behalf of the #15 Bus Action Committee; it incorporates perspectives expressed by six users of the #15:

“I am writing to protest the cutting back of the services of Bus 15 that serves the Purcell’s Cove community. A year ago I faced a major health crisis with a stroke. I used public transit for six months until I recovered sufficiently to get my car license reinstated. There is an elderly gentleman on my street who had to give up his license because of visual issues. We are an ageing population … As a retired physician I know the benefits of keeping the elderly in their own homes as long as they can function safely … Residents will not be reimbursed for their local transit tax while losing 70% of their transit service. This further impacts the elderly who may require the use of taxi services to get groceries. This is a vulnerable population … The proposed Halifax Wilderness Park off the Purcell’s Cove Road is scheduled to open the very month the bus cuts will occur in August 2019. It seems to me that the Purcell’s Cove Bus 15 has been shown to have a statistically higher frequency of usage in the summer months. I propose that, at least, with the opening of the new park, some kind of tally of the bus usage for the month of August and September be conducted before these cuts are made … Without a bus that runs there on the weekends, many people will not have the means to get to the park. As the city centre densifies, this urban wilderness will become our Central Park for all citizens to enjoy – minus public transit! Only car owners will be able to access it on evenings and weekends … Halifax Transit figures show a marked increase in ridership during the summer months, especially at midday. The popularity of York Redoubt, an historic and beautiful national park, is likely the current reason. This service closure will represent lost opportunity for those tourists we so desperately seek to buoy our struggling economy.”
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