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.”
Continue reading

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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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Tues May 16: Final Public Engagement, Halifax Green Network Plan

The Halifax Regional Municipality is conducting the third and final phase of public engagement for the Halifax Green Network Plan, a decision-making framework for the conservation of a region-wide network of open space. A number of planning and implementation directions have been drafted using public input and study results from the earlier phases of work and are contained in the Halifax Green Network Plan Primer Report.

Public engagement for this phase will occur in a series of public meetings across HRM from May 15 to June 12, 2017. The most convenient session for most Backland folks will be May 16 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Atlantica Hotel Halifax (Guild Hall) 1980 Robie Street.

Read more on HRM website

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Wed Apr 5, 2017: Backlands Presentations

I was recently advised by Dr Patricia Manuel that two students in the Planning department will be presenting their Honours Thesis Project this coming Wednesday, April 5. The topics are of particular note for the Williams Lake Backlands:

3:50 pm-Steve Collyer-Fire Landscape interpretation in the Williams Lake Backlands

4:10 pm-Tessa Williams-Exploring hydrology in the Williams Lake Backlands, an Interpretation Planning Background Study.

Location: School of Architecture and Planning, 5410 Spring Garden Road, Room HB2.

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Halifax Green Network Plan Primer

GreenNetworkA draft of the Halifax Green Network Planning and Implementation Strategy and “Plan Primer” have been released by HRM and go to Regional Council today (March 23, 2017) to be approved for upcoming public consultations. It is expected those consultations will take place in April. The Primer provides a good overview of the Green Network plan, with lots of maps. It’s recommended reading!

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Zak Metcalfe on Purcells Cove’s elegance

dsc04050I think we have another Backlands fan: “I never lived in a city before Halifax, needing always to be within walking distance of the wild and that’s something urban life simply couldn’t offer, not like the Confederation Trail in rural P.E.I. or the uncleared lots of farm country Ontario. But Halifax surprised me, because my house hunt took me to Purcells Cove and, consequently, the Purcells Cove Conservation Lands…”

View Purcells Cove’s elegance uncovered (CH, Feb 12, 2017)

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