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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 »

Two of HFN Founders still at it

Two of the HFN founders, Paul and Cathy Keddy, are 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 (The Ottawa Magazine tells me that an electronic version will be available on the web in the next weeks – I will post a link to it when it is… – David P)

Wed July 15, 2015: Shark Night

Twenty-eight species of shark have been reported across Canada’s Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Close to half of them are threatened, but still many Canadians don’t know that sharks are at home in our waters. Attend a keynote presentation by Dr. Nigel Hussey (University of Windsor), an expert on the mysterious Greenland shark. Wednesday, July 15, 2015 7:00 – 10:00 pm at Potter Auditorium, Rowe Management Building, 6100 University Ave, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Please RSVP by Monday, July 13, 2015 to Chris Chaplin
416-669-9155 or

Nova Scotia Nature Writing and Art Contest for Youth

NatureArtWritingPoster1000 Nature Nova Scotia, the Young Naturalists Club of Nova Scotia and the Wildland Writers are sponsoring a Nature Writing and Art Contest for Nova Scotian youth ages 8 – 15 years. Submissions may be a written piece (shortstory, non fiction, poetry ,etc.) OR an original artwork (painting, drawing, collage, etc.) that is inspired by:

  • native plants or animals of Nova Scotia (native means a species that occurs naturally in a region)
  • an adventure, personal moment, or happy experience in Nova Scotia’s wild places (lake, river, ocean, forest, trail)
  • an injustice that impacts nature in Nova Scotia
  • Entries must be submitted by October 31, 2015. View Rules and Poster for more details.

    Calling all Naturalists! Biota Survey at Otter Pond Demo. Forest June 27

    Calling all Naturalists! Biota Survey at Otter Pond Demo. Forest June 27
    “Please join us for a day in the woods at Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest. A biota survey will take place on Saturday June 27th – and we’d like your help! The site is located roughly an hour and a half from Halifax, near the community of Mooseland, in the interior of the Eastern Shore.

    “Our goal is to increase our knowledge about the property’s flora and fauna. Naturalists with various interests are invited to participate. Please bring along field guides, GPS, binoculars, sturdy waterproof footwear, snacks, water, and insect repellent. The survey will take place throughout the day. We intend to focus on four areas of interest: hardwood drumlins, softwood lowlands, wetlands, and a core area of old forest that hasn’t been harvested since the late 1800’s. Read more »

    100 Islands Celebration

    At the NS Nature Trust 2015 Conservation Showcase held at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on June 18, 2015, NS Nature Trust personnel said that their 7M$ project to protect private lands in the 100 islands Campaign is now almost 90% funded and that they have protected more than 5000 acres. Minister of Environment, Randy Delorey announced that the Province has now legally protected the Eastern Shore Islands Wilderness Area which is 4600 acreas.  “Together, we are protecting a globally significant island wilderness, at a scale that neither the province nor the Nature Trust could do on its own,” said Delorey. Read more »