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Sept Events, & Our 40th coming up

WEDNESDAY, SEP. 9: NATURE CONSERVANCY OF CANADA – Nova Scotia Programme Director Craig Smith will talk about the approach to conservation planning used by the Nature Conservancy of Canada 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH (Note this regular meeting is being held on Wed, not Thurs). Read more

FRI./SUN., SEPT. 11-13: MELMERBY FALL WEEKEND Stephanie and Allan Robertson will host HFN members at their two cottages adjacent to beautiful Melmerby Beach Provincial Park on the Northumberland Strait..Read more

Nature writer, poet, and environmentalist Harry Thurston will address the complex question of what might be done to preserve and restore the great wealth of wildlife and natural resources in the North Atlantic. 7:30 p.m. at the Ballroom of the Ashburn Golf Club (3250 Joseph Howe Drive) Read more | View Poster

Past issues of our newsletter now available and searchable online

newsletteerPast issues of our newsletter, the Halifax Field Naturalist, are now available online and can be searched. Go to HFN Newsletter>>Archived Newsletters to see the list of archived issues and to use the search engine. Two to 6 issues (usually 4) have been published every year since 1975, each with detailed reports of field trips, talks and more, so it is a wonderful resource.

The Memorialist

The Memorialist, a project by visual artists D’Arcy Wilson (current Local Artist-In-Residence at The Centre for Art Tapes), pursues an intriguing story about Halifax and natural history:

“It is a little known fact that during the mid 19th century, Halifax was home to the first zoological gardens on the continent since the Mayan Empire. Through researching and retelling the story of this early zoo, The Memorialist considers the implications of the colonial desire to establish zoological gardens in the middle of a wilderness. The project will become familiar with Andrew Downs— the man who created said zoo and cared for its inhabitants— and his travels abroad to trade animals between institutions and royal families. Read more »

What’s a Naturalist?

In the NaturallyNS column for August 2015, David P discusses what’s involved in “natural history” and how one becomes a “naturalist”. The role of groups such as HFN is highlighted. “Today, in our highly urbanized society and with the prevalence of industrial-scale forestry and farming many such connections [to nature] have been lost. However, the yearning to know more about nature persists, especially through childhood. Paul Keddy, a young graduate student when he played a key role in founding the Halifax Field Naturalists many years ago, said, If you want to learn more about your world, then you are a naturalist.” View article

Paul and Cathy Keddy “gave it all away”

Ottawa magazine PhotoTwo of the HFN founders, Paul and Cathy Keddy, were featured in “Gifted, Naturally”, an article in the July issue of Ottawa Magazine. The article by Moira Farr, well illustrated with colour photos by By David Tratiles, describes how Paul and Cathy “spent decades buying up Iand in Lamark County. Then they gave it all away.” View HFN History | View Ottawa Magazine Article
Two of HFN Founders still at it

Over the finish line for Hike-the-Greenbelt

The Hike-the-Greenbelt series of hikes, bikes and paddles, sponsored (amongst others) by HFN, wrapped up a week ago with hikes on McIntosh Run and the Backlands. View photos from the finale.

Celebrating the New Wilsons Lake Conservation Lands: Tributes to HFN’s First President

The Nova Scotia Nature Trust announced yesterday their acquisition yesterday of a key property on Wilsons Lake in the Tusket River system that will protect rare wetland plants of the Atlantic Coastal Plain flora. “One property in particular has been a top conservation priority for decades, since the first discovery of these unique plants in Nova Scotia.” The press release comments on the key role played by Dr. Paul Keddy. Read more.

As a graduate student, Paul was a founder of the Halifax Field Naturalists in 1975, and its first President! Read a Report Paul and Cathy Keddy wrote in the Halifax Field Naturalist (1981/82) in which they describe the Wilsons Lake and other sites and discuss how and why these rare plants came to colonize these sites. Read more »

Final Week of Hike the Greenbelt: the Chebucto Peninsula

GreenbeltA focus on The Chebucto Peninsula in the final days of Hike the Greenbelt:
Wednesday, August 12, RUN OR HIKE: THE BLUFF TRAILS
Sunday, August 16, HIKE—MCINTOSH RUN
Monday, August 17, PADDLE: INGRAM RIVER
Please come out to as many of these events as you can to show support for the Halifax Green Network initiative.


Join the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Halifax Field Naturalists for a guided hike to explore this beautiful property on the St. Mary’s River, north of Sherbrooke. Learn about the endangered species of birds and turtles that rely on this river, and experience the old growth forest and floodplain forest found on the property. This property has no trail – the hike will be moderately challenging.
Contact: Karen McKendry, 902-425-5263;

NS Nature Trust seeking support to protect key land in Rogues Roost

Rogues RoostFrom NSNT: We have more exciting conservation news to share! In June, the Nature Trust launched a campaign to protect an internationally known and much loved coastal wilderness icon–Rogues Roost.

The stunning 1200 hectare coastal wilderness is nestled midway between Chester and Halifax on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. At the centre of this wilderness, at the entry to the infamous hidden cove frequented by pirates and other rogues in days gone by, and sailors and paddlers today, is an ‘inholding’ of privately owned land, known as Roost Pond… Read More

Kick-off for Hike the Greenbelt Sat July 18, 2015

“Join us for a celebratory send-off in Point Pleasant Park to start the Hike the Greenbelt Project! Pack a lunch and kayak with us to McNabs Island to join the Friends of McNabs annual picnic, with guided tours, children’s activities, and musical acts!” Details.

Events continue until Aug. 16th. You can sign up for any event. Check it out: The goal is to get out as many people, from as many walks of life, as possible. Here’s the map:Hike the Greenbelt

Nature Writing Class at SMU

The Writer and Nature
English 2318.1 — Saint Mary’s University, Halifax
Fridays – 10:00-12:30
Sept.-Dec. 2015
Instructor: Brian Bartlett
You can drive out nature with a pitch fork
but it always comes roaring back again – Tom Waits
This course is centered on “nature writing” in the U.S. and Britain over the past two centuries. Read more »