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Walks & Talks

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OUR WALKS are led by specialists or well schooled naturalists, and provide a good way to expand your knowledge of local natural history as well as to mingle with members of the natural history community.

Deep Cove Nature Reserve
Brad Armstrong and Doug van Hemessen led HFN participants into the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Deep Cove Nature Reserve on Oct 24, 2015.
Click on photo for larger version

We usually have one or more walks a month throughout the year. It may be possible for the contact person (who may or may not be the same as the trip leader) to organize a ride for an event outside the city. If this is possible, a contribution towards the fuel costs would be appropriate. All participants in HFN activities are responsible for their own safety. Always wear suitable clothing and footwear for the weather, the activity, and the terrain. If in doubt, call the contact person listed for each field trip.

OUR TALKS are given by both experts and interested amateurs – one every month except during the summer. They provide an opportunity to learn what local scientists, volunteers, and HFN members are up to. Regular meetings with talks are held on the first Thursday of every month except July and August at 7:30 PM in the auditorium of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax. Meetings are open to the public. Use the entrance next to the parking lot. There is a charge for parking at the Museum; usually, two hours will be adequate.

Join us for a tour of the new Discovery Centre! The Discovery Centre is a not-for-profit registered charitable organization whose mission is to bring STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) to life through fun, interactive learning experiences. From its beginnings as a travelling science show to its spectacular new home on the Halifax Waterfront, the Discovery Centre has grown a lot over 30 years of operation. But through it all, the Centre has stayed true to its vision: using its facility, people and passion to demonstrate how STEAM can empower our youth, grow Nova Scotia’s knowledge-based economy and inspire an innovative culture by showcasing our best and brightest. Registration is required for this event, spaces are limited to 20 people. Fee for the tour (and day’s admission) is $8.
Contact: Molly Leblanc,
Time: 1-2:30pm
Location: 1215 Lower Water Street, between Bishop’s Landing and the Halifax Seaport Market, along the waterfront.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Have you seen or wondered what the building on the Shubenacadie Greenway in Dartmouth is all about? Join architect Syd Dumaresq as he describes the replica of the Fume House his firm recently designed as he tells the background story of the life and times of the Shubenacadie Canal.

Join us for a tour of Saint Mary’s green infrastructure! We will introduce you to Saint Mary’s green roof and explain why communities are interested in green infrastructure. You will hear from graduate students who will discuss the work they are doing to improve the services green roofs provide. After this introduction to green roofs, there will be a hands-on demonstration showcasing how different plant species benefit the green roof in different ways. After the green roof tour, we will stop by Saint Mary’s living wall and the oaks (a small forested park) to demonstrate what beneficial services these two other types of green infrastructures can provide. Registration is required – spaces are limited to 20 people.
Contact: Molly LeBlanc,
Time: 1-2:30pm
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Meet at the JustUs Cafe on the first floor of the Atrium Building, at Saint Mary’s University, Building on the corner of Robie and Inglis street, 5946 Inglis St, Halifax, NS B3H 1K8.
Difficulty: Easy

Old forests are special ecosystems in Nova Scotia, partly because of their rarity and partly because of their awesome biodiversity and big, old trees. Most of the province’s old forests are deep in the rural forest. On the other hand, are there any in the city? Peter Duinker, Dalhousie Professor and Acting Director of the School for Resource and Environmental Studies, and his students searched for old forest in six large wooded municipal parks and documented the best we have in the urban core. In the talk, Peter describes these examples of old forest and compares them with data from some of the province’s iconic rural old forests. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH.

Let’s walk the talk with Peter Duinker, our June speaker, who will take us to see an old growth hemlock forest in the HRM area.
Contact: Denyse Contrasty,
Time/Place: 2:00 p.m. at Hemlock Ravine Park. Turn onto Kent Ave from the Bedford Highway (landmark is The Round House or Prince’s Lodge ). Road is a dead end and there is a driveway on the left that goes down to the parking lot for the park. About 20 car capacity.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Rain Date: Sat June 16

The Drysdale Bog in Goodwood is a fairly large bog close to the city. It is a raised bog, fed by rain, that drains into surrounding streams. We will walk over a HRM water pipeline right of way to get to the bog, and may then continue to Big Indian Lake. This spring walk is a follow up to our walk to the bog last February, and should permit exploring the area without getting our feet wet while showcasing spring flora.
Contact: Burkhard Plache,, 475-1129
Time: 1 pm
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Meet at the entrance to the Halifax Exhibition Centre (200
Prospect Road, Hwy 333)
Difficulty: 5-6 km (in and out) over a narrow wood road.

Join with HFN member Ron Cosper for a woodland walk on the Bell Brook trail in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Bell Brook runs from Bell Lake to Morris Lake, but the Bell Brook trail does not go all the way to Bell Lake. The trail follows the brook uphill from Morris Lake, crosses Bell Brook Crescent twice and ends up in back of Finbar’s pub. The walk will start at the first crossing of Bell Brook Crescent (at the corner of Bell Brook Crescent and Pebble Creek Crescent), head up stream to the second crossing, then go back down. Those who want to extend the hike can continue down hill to Morris Lake, and those who have had enough can stop when they get back to their cars. We will observe the plants and wildlife along the way.Registration required.
Rain date: Saturday 14th July, 2018
Contact: Keith Vaughan,
Time/place: 1 pm at the corner of Bell Brook Crescent and Pebble Creek Crescent in Dartmouth. To get there, head out of Dartmouth on Portland Street in the direction of Cole Harbour. Turn right at the traffic light onto Portland Estates blvd. Drive 0.8km to the stop sign and turn left onto Portland Hills drive. Go about 1 km and turn right onto Bell Brook crescent. Continue on for a further 0.4km and turn right onto Pebble Creek crescent; park on Pebble Creek crescent. The group will gather at the small park at the corner of Bell Brook crescent and Pebble Creek crescent.
Duration: 1 to 2 hours.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate