In Kjipuktuk/Halifax Today: The People’s Parade for Life on Earth 22Apr2023

From EAC

Join us for a joyful community parade on Earth Day, April 22, 2023! Let us all come together to celebrate Mother Earth, to celebrate water which is life and to celebrate our beautiful communities and our continued resistance for love, justice and life on this planet.

Date: Saturday, April 22, 2023 (Rain Date: Sunday, April 23, 2023)
Parade Start Time: 2:00 p.m.
Post-Parade Celebration: 3:00-5:00 p.m. Continue reading

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Backlands Coalition presents to HRM Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee 20Apr2023

Boris Worm and Kaarin Tae presented to the Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee (aka CPED) on Thursday Apr 20, 2021. View Youtube Archive. The presentation by Boris and Kaarin begins at minute 8:52.

Later that same day, Boris was interviewed by Jeff Douglas on the CBC Radio program “Mainstreet”. The link below will take you to the CBC News article which includes an audio recording as well as the text of the interview.

Why this Halifax citizen group wants to protect the backlands from development
CBC News

Posted in Community, Conservation | Comments Off on Backlands Coalition presents to HRM Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee 20Apr2023

MRWA to add 16 km of new trails in Backlands (Halifax, NS) 19Apr2023

From  McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) Press Release

Map showing existing and planned trails (from MWRA Press Release)
Click on image for a larger version

HALIFAX (Kjipuktuk), March 28, 2023 — The McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) is expanding the McIntosh Run trail system and will be adding 16 km of new backcountry singletrack trails to the network. Over the last 24 months, MRWA completed a detailed plan for the expansion and secured landowner approvals. The first 3 km of new trails are under construction and will open this spring. MRWA is looking for community help to complete the project.

Local HRM Councillor Patty Cuttell (Spryfield-Sambro Loop-Prospect Rd.) applauds the volunteer-run organization’s efforts, saying “The MRWA trail network makes Spryfield a more vibrant, healthy and liveable community. I’m proud of the work MRWA has done in partnership with HRM.”
Continue reading

Posted in Recreation, Watershed | Comments Off on MRWA to add 16 km of new trails in Backlands (Halifax, NS) 19Apr2023

City Nature Challenge Apr 28 to May 1, 2023

Photo from Canadian Wildlife Federation page on the City Nature Challenge

Halifax is participating in the iNaturalist-based City Nature Challenge again, this year over the days Friday May 28 to Monday May 1.

It’s pretty simple to contribute to Halifax’s effort to document our natural world and illustrate citizen’s love of that world.

Participants photograph a nature observation of a “species” (e.g.a robin, or a flower) within the boundaries of HRM within the Apr 28-May 1 timeframe and upload it to iNaturalist. (HRM refers to Halifax Regional Municipality, now just called Halifax. It encompasses all of Halifax County.)

The only requirement on the iNaturalist end is that one must first sign up to be a member of iNaturalist, and with the photo observation provide a location (approximate or precise), and a guess at the species name.You can give your own guess for the name of the species, but iNaturalist can also offer its own guess at the species name and you can just select one. (Over time, the name is reviewed and eventually the correct is given or confirmed.)

The iNaturalist App can be put on a smart phone or computer. If the photo is taken and uploaded with a smartphone and is automatically location (GPS)-tagged, the location will be automatically uploaded – so both the location and the species name can be given by iNaturalist. If the photo is taken with a camera, it can be uploaded separately via a computer. While the photos must be taken over the interval Apr 28 to May 1, they can be uploaded April 28 through May 7, 2023

There’s lots more info here:

City Nature Challenge |Canada 2023| Défi nature urbaine

About the City Nature Challenge 2023: Halifax Regional Municipality, NS, Canada

Continue reading

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Making the case for the Backlands 12Apr2023

Slide from the presentation

On April 6, 2023, Boris Worm and Mather Carscallen made a presentation to the HRM Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee on why we want to ‘Keep the Backlands Wild’.
View the presentation on this YouTube Video, starting around minute 4:41.

Here is some context provided by Martha Leary Continue reading

Posted in Conservation, HRM Greenbelt | Comments Off on Making the case for the Backlands 12Apr2023

Province has set aside funds for Williams Lake Dam 1Apr2023

Posted on FB page for MLA Brendan Maguire:

Great news for Williams Lake

Today I asked the Minister of Transportation for an update on the dam.

The money has been secured and set aside to replace the dam!

The province needs to settle ownership issue with HRM, which they are currently working through.

Almost there !

Brendan Maguire

Tip if the Hat to Cathy Vaughn for forwarding this welcome info.

Posted in Community, Conservation, Lakes | Comments Off on Province has set aside funds for Williams Lake Dam 1Apr2023

A Retrospective of Winter Birding in the Backlands

Joshua Barss Donham  produced a 9 minute YouTube video highlighting some of his winter birding sights in the Backlands over the winter of  2022/2023.

It features some really beautiful Backlands scenery, in the air, on trees, on the water and ice.

What a great  way to celebrate the winter past!

Joshua has also provided a list of species shown in the video.  Read more

Thx JBD!

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“Families donate property to protect the Backlands” – Chebucto News 1Apr2023

The Backlands Coalition and the Nova Scotia Nature Trust hosted an event at the Purcell’s Cove Social Club recently to celebrate and thank four families who had donated their lands in the Backlands to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust (NSNT.) Writes Cathy Vaughan in the Chebucto News for April 2023.

The Longard, Napier, Field, and Duggan families gifted their lands, over the past several years, to add to NSNT’s properties in the Backlands. The families want to protect the unique ecosystems, important wildlife corridors, distinctive land formations and the globally rare Jack Pine-Broom Crowberry communities. They feel it is important to provide permanent access to these stunningly beautiful properties in the Spryfield area.

Commented Councillor Patty Cuttell of the Sambro Loop – Prospect Road, District 11, in which the Backlands are situated:

Their gift shows appreciation for the environment, including the wildlife that depends on it. It shows personal selflessness by allowing others to access and enjoy this land around us. And it shows their belief in the future and the generations to come by ensuring they too have places that have been kept natural and wild for them.

Indeed,  these are wonderful gifts. Thanks Backlands Families, Thanks NSNT, and Thanks Cathy Vaughan for writing about it.
Continue reading

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Tell Council by Mar 29, 2023 that we need a Green Network Plan Coordinator!

UPDATE: “HRM Budget – Green Network Plan Coordinator
$89,600 for a Green Network Plan coordinator was added to the budget without debate! The topic was brought up a few times, but only with supportive sentiments. No one motioned to debate it or remove it from the budget. Of note, Mayor Savage was very vocal about his support. This is a huge success for Our HRM Alliance members who have been fighting for a greenbelt plan since 2011, and now committed to seeing the plan implemented!” SOURCE – Our HRM Alliance Newsletter for April 2023 (received Apr 12, 2023)


At the HRM Budget Committee on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, the HRM Council has an opportunity to put a Coordinator in place for implementing the Halifax Green Network Plan (HGNP).

We urge supporters of the Backlands to express their support for such a position by calling your Counciilor/writing the Mayor and Council..

More background is provided in this opinion piece published on the EAC website today: Continue reading

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It’s time for the Great Backyard Bird Count Feb 17-21, 2023

By Martha Leary

Barred Owl, commonly sighted in the Backlands, overwinters here By Mdf – Taken by Mdf, CC BY-SA 3.0,

It’s February and time for the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Sponsored by the Audubon Society, this bird count is easy peasy. Watch in your own backyard for as little 15 minutes or take a short winter hike in your favourite part of the Backlands and send the record of your observations to Information from their websites tells us: “Recently, more than 300,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.” With bird numbers declining, your input helps us learn more about what kinds of measures help bird populations to be successful during these times of climate change.

David Patriquin and the Backlands Coalition have created a special project on iNaturalist to help us understand the natural world of birds, plants, fungi and animals in the Backlands. If you are within the Backlands and record your observations on iNaturalist, your observations will be tallied on the project Halifax Backlands for the use of all Continue reading

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