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Nature NS asks us to “Take the Challenge: Biodiversity Challenge Badge” 21Oct2022

It’s pretty simple and would likely mesh readily with the nature exploration & enjoyment activities of Halifax Field Naturalists and many more nature-oriented folks in NS: “basically, the challenge is to observe the natural world around you as you hike. To earn the badge, you have to do 10 hikes and submit 10 observations from each hike via iNaturalist”

Read more about it in an article by Jonathan Riley, Hike NS Board President.
Read more »

Nature NS expresses concerns about move to open gates to western Lake Rossignol 16Oct2022

Bob Bancroft, president of Nature Nova Scotia, has written a letter to The Premier, and Minsters of Environment…, Communities.., Natural Resources noting that “Minister Rushton has expressed a determination to remove the gates from the Mersey River to allow motorized access to ATVs” and urging well-informed, and careful management of these lands, through inclusive dialogue with the Mi’kmaq and Nature Nova Scotia.

View Letter.

Nature NS is a federation of 24 natural history societies and other nature groups in Nova Scotia.

Read about Lake Rossgnol on South Shore Connect.

Thurs, Oct 6, 2022: John Crabtree on Mushrooms

Monthly Meeting – Mushrooms– Thursday, October 6 at 7:30 at the Museum of Natural History

The meeting will be at 7:30 PM in the auditorium of the Museum of Natural History. It will be an in-person meeting only. Attendees will not be required to wear a mask, but are welcome to do so if they wish.

John Crabtree, founding member and Regional Director for HRM of the Nova Scotia Mycological Society, and local mushroom expert will share some of his vast knowledge of mushrooms. As the local mushroom “expert”, he is often called on by organizations such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Ecology Action Centre and Nova Scotia Nature Trust for guided walks, presentations and bioblitzes.

John’s presentation will be followed by a guided mushroom walk on Wednesday, October 12th at Shubie Park in Dartmouth. Meeting place will be in the main parking lot. Please note that registration is required for this walk. Please contact Patti L (pattileclerATgmaxxl.cxm) for registration and further details. There is no rain date.

Please note: John’s mushroom talk has proven to be a very popular event. Thus, paid up members will be given seating priority until 7:20. After 7:20, seating will be open to all on a first come, first served basis until maximum capacity is reached.

Burkhard Plache June 21, 1965 – September 10, 2022

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Burkhard Plache, a long time member, board member and since 2017, President of the Halifax Field Naturalists.

He was a pillar of the Halifax naturalist community and will be sorely missed by his wife Ingrid and all of us who knew him.

There will be a Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving on Sep 28, 2022.

Please see his obituary for details:

Thursday Sep 1, 2022: Boris Worm From Coast to Coast

Monthly Meeting – From Coast to Coast to Coast – Thursday, September 1, 2022
Building climate resiliency through marine protected areas. In this talk, Dalhousie University/Ocean Frontier Institute’s marine biologist Boris Worm explains the scientific rationale for using marine protected areas to foster resilient ocean ecosystems; these areas can withstand the impacts of climate change and therefore better help to secure fragile biodiversity and a reliable seafood supply at the same time. He will discuss case studies from Canada’s three coasts as well as international ones, and present new results of a 5-year research project on climate-smart protected area planning

The meeting will be at 7:30 PM in the auditorium of the Museum of Natural History.

Public Comment Period on Southdale/Eisner Cover Wetland now open, closes Mon Sep 19, 2022

Southdale site on Aug 15, 2022. Trees had been cleareddown to the wetland.  From p 6 of Letter
Click on image for larger version

An invitation from Shape Our City Halifax has just been issued to “to share your feedback on the draft policies, development agreement and submitted plans” related to the Southdale Future Growth Node  which includes the  ‘Eisner Cove Wetland’.

Feedback is to be submitted via simple one-box form by Monday September 19, 2022.

The  “draft policies, development agreement and submitted plans” can be accessed via  this webpage: Case 23820: Southdale Future Growth Node Planning Process

Tree-clearing at the Southdale site began in early August, so it’s not  clear what decisions about the development  yet to be taken might be modified by public input.

As readers are probably aware, there have been some hitches along the way in the form of growing protests, appeals, and an industrial site incident.
Read more »

May 27-29, 2022: Nature NS Celebration of Nature

The Celebration of Nature is our big annual event, a talk and hike series as well as our AGM, and it always falls on the last weekend in May. Pre-COVID when the event took place entirely in-person, we would rotate locations around the province and a local NatureNS member group would host the event. This year, we’re running a hybrid event, where the talks and AGM are virtual and the hikes/outings are in-person and take place all around the province.
For further details and to register, follow this link:

Saturday Apr 9, 2022: Rally in Support of Eisner Wetland (Dartmouth, NS)

Rhodora coming into full bloom in Eisner’s Cove Wetland on May 29, 2017.

The Protect Eisner Wetland folks are holding a rally on Saturday Apr 9, 2022 1-3 pm by the block of land that includes the Eisner Wetland in Dartmouth.

The surrounding, steeply sloping forested upland is one of 9 priority areas in HRM  identified by the province for accelerated development, with only 10% or less conserved as greenspace. A causeway would be built across the wetland, which is expected to remain intact!

The upland includes well developed mixed and coniferous forests, with patches of mixed-multi-aged forest/old growth. Both areas store a lot of carbon, and host almost entirely native species.

The whole area is an important stepping stone  for connectivity of wildlife across the urban landscape.  It is highly treasured by local residents – and bird watchers and and other naturalists from all over the Halifax area.

Please come to the rally as possible and/or otherwise support the efforts to  retain as much of this area as possible in its present state. Read more »

Wed Apr 13, 2022: Community Engagement (virtual) on BMBCL

Notice of this event just received.

Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes (BMBCL) Comprehensive Study

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Registration for the virtual meeting, which will take place on the Microsoft Teams platform, can be accessed by clicking this link. Read more »

Zack Metcaalfe in Rural Delivery: Whale Nation

About  a masterpiece of writing and photography in the Dec 2021 issue of Rural Delivery, that wonderful magazine about life in rural NS produced by Dirk van Loon & Co.  that’s been with us for over 40 years, Zack Metcalfe  commented

“I spent much of 2021 working on this article, reading books on the natural history and evolution of the world’s whales, and chasing these wonderful creatures throughout the St Lawrence Estuary. The article published in December, and is finally online! All photos are my own. See if you can spot my favourite.”

“In few places on Earth have the forces of geology, hydrology and biology conspired more successfully to attract the whale nation”…. read More!

Thx. ZM. Thx RD.

Tues. Mar 15, 2022: Three Nova Scotia Nature Writers

Mar 15, 2022:
(Event Announcement)
Three Nova Scotia Nature Writers
“Join three nature writers of contemporary Nova Scotia / Mi’kma’ki—Harry Thurston, Søren Bondrup-Nielsen, and Brian Bartlett—as they read passages from their newest published books and have an informal discussion about putting passion for nature into words. Attendees will then be welcome to offer observations and ask questions”

Friends of Eisner’s Cove Wetland seeking support 14Feb2022

Rhodora in flower at Eisner’s Cove Wetland. View more about the site 

From Susan Van Iderstine:

“I am writing on behalf of the Friends of Eisner Cove Wetland, a group of citizens headed by Bill Zebedee. We are dedicated to the preservation of the wetland and its protective forest belt, situated in Dartmouth, and we are very concerned about a large residential development proposal currently in planning for the wetland site. We are asking for your help and support.

The property including and surrounding the wetland and its watercourse was once owned by the Province. It was sold a few years ago to private ownership. In 2021 the owner, A. J. LeGrow Holdings, partnered with Clayton Development and Zzap Consulting to propose a mixed residential neighbourhood, including single and multiple family dwellings and two apartment buildings, as well as an elevated access roadway that will cross directly over the wetland. The site is referred to by the city as the Southdale Future Growth Node. The planning process has been initiated and was approved by Halifax City Council on January 11, 2022. You can find information about the proposal here: Read more »