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NS Nature Trust Urban Wildlands Celebration Wed, Aug 15 7 PM – 8 PM

From Event Facebook Page:

“Join us in celebrating the protection of new urban wildlands that protect important freshwater and wildlife habitats.

“Please RSVP to: (902) 425-5263.

“We will host a guided Wildlands Walk of the new conservation lands on September 22nd (more details coming soon).”

Mission-Monarch Blitz July 28 to Aug 5


The Mission-Monarch Blitz is scheduled this coming week of 28th July through the 5th of August.
I am sure you would like to help document the status of the Monarch butterfly in Nova Scotia. If you know where there is milkweed growing that is where the Monarchs reside to lay eggs, feed and pupate.
At the moment there are all forms present (eggs, larvae, pupae, and butterflies). We would like you to search patches of milkweed and report what you discover. There is an easy one page form to report your results at If you find nothing, that is of value also.
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Biodiverse-City Hike Series: #1 Blue Mountain Hikes Sun July 29th, 9am and 1pm

Click on image for larger version with hike details

“Hello HFNers! Karen McKendry here, in my new capacity as Wilderness Outreach Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre. I’ve been given the wonderful task of leading hike that connect people with the region’s biodiversity, and was wondering if you would promote the first hike of a series on your social media streams.

“On Sunday, July 29th, I’ll be leading the first of our Biodiverse-city hikes, at Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes. We’ll explore the area’s biodiversity and examine how the area connects with the city’s Green Network Plan. We’ll also introduce people the other area’s new stewardship group. I hope HFN members will join us! Attached is a poster about the event.

“- Karen McKendry
Wilderness Outreach Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
Kjipuktuk, Mi’kmaq Territory
2705 Fern Lane, Halifax, NS, B3K 4L3
Phone: (902) 442-5008”

and congratulations and thanks to you, Karen, from HFN , on your new position.

Note: space limited, so sign up right away if serious..

Upcoming Field Trips: Brook Trail Walk (Sat Jy 7, 2018) & Old Forests of Sandy Lake (Sat Jy 14, 2018)

forest at Sandy LakeJoin with HFN member Ron Cosper on Saturday July 7, 2018 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…

Sandy Lake in Bedford is surrounded by drumlins supporting a mixed Acadian forest. While there has been a lot of forestry there in the past, significant patches of old trees remain, some of which qualify as Old Growth according to the DNR protocol. Join HFN member David Patriquin on this walk on Sat Jy 14 (rain date the next day)…

Read more about these walks

Halifax Green Network Plan released June 21, 2018 looking good

The Final Draft of the The Halifax Green Network Plan, under development for several years,  was released on June 21, 2018.

The Halifax Green Network Plan (HGNP) was initiated in 2015 shortly after the adoption of the 2014 Regional Municipality Planning Strategy (Regional Plan). The 2014 Regional Plan directs the creation of the priorities plan to: “…protect and preserve connectivity between natural areas and open space lands, to enable their integration into sustainable community design, to help define communities, to benefit the Municipality’s economy and the physical health of its people, and to reflect and support the overall purposes of this Plan.”- from Item No. 15.1 Community Planning & Economic Development Standing Committee June 21, 2018 

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Thursday June 7, 2018: Peter Duinker on Old Forests in HRM

Admirals Cove_Old Growth forest in Sept. 2014. Photo by Peter Duinker

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 Nova Scotia Museum o Natural History on Summer Street, Halifax. All welcome!

Nature Conservancy of Canada proposes innovative approach to accessing new urban wilderness area: underground parking and elevator

“In September HRM [Halifax Regional Municipality] announced that the tentative agreement for the Urban Wilderness Park on the Purcell’s Cove Backlands would include a parking lot and main entrance.

“Since then some questions have been raised about the concept and possible scale of parking adjacent to a wilderness area.

“Nature Conservancy Canada in partnership with urban parking specialists UrbanMobility has arrived at a solution that will provide for those who visit by car while meeting the concerns of conservationists.
Read more »

April 12, 2018: Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park Citizen’s Meeting

“All are invited to a public meeting on April 12th for updates and information on park progress. We will also explore interest in forming a citizen’s group, such as a “Friends of Blue Mountain” group, to speak up for creation of the promised park and collaborate with the municipality and other levels of government.
Please come to St. Peter’s Anglican Church Hall from 7-9pm on Thursday, April 12th.
There will be a formal presentation at 7:15, and opportunity for questions and public comments at 8pm.”
Read More

Expansion of HRM Goodwood Composting Facility

After the hike to the Drysdale Bog in Goodwood, we learned via the Western Commons Advisory Committee that the area, situated near the Halifax Western Common, is partially considered for expanded development.

Please consider their statement (as follows):

Thurs Feb 1: Life and decline of the American eel

american eel from WikipediaLydia Stevens, of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, will give an introduction into the life history, importance and status of American eel, Anguilla rostrata. She will discuss species range, life cycle, sex and diet. The importance to Indigenous people, recreational and commercial fish harvesters. Population decline and conservation. Finally she will talk about her own research: Population demographics and habitat use of American eel in a protected watershed in Nova Scotia. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH. All welcome
View more about our Talks and Walks

Sewer Stroll postponed again, now to Sun Feb 4, and again to Feb 25, 2018!

Due to the continuing unstable state of some of the coastal viewing sites, the annual sewer stroll planned initially for Sunday Jan 7 and then postponed to Sun Jan 14, 2018 is now postponed to Sunday January 28, 2017 and now to feb 4m 2018… and now to Feb 18, 2018, now to Feb 25. Never say die until winter is over at least.

Mother Nature apologizes to all but notes that we have not been too kind to her either…

Land purchased for Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes

EAC photo“On January 18, the Halifax Regional Municipality purchased approximately 197 acres of lands to form part of a Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park. This important acquisition marks the first parcel of land to be acquired by the municipality towards the creation of the regional park, which is proposed in the municipality’s Regional Plan…

“The Hobson Lake lands have been acquired from West Bedford Holdings and will both enable public access into the regional park and support the protected wilderness area by acting as a buffer between it and developed lands. ”

Read more from HRM announcement

Also, a letter in the Chronicle Herald


Congratulations to Halifax regional council for purchasing a 80-hectare parcel of wilderness land in the Hobson Lake area of the proposed Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park (Jan. 22 story) — and to West Bedford Holdings, the development company that sold the land, presumably at fair market value.

After many years of inaction, HRM finally owns land within the boundaries of the future suburban wilderness park. May this deal inspire other property owners within the boundaries of the future park, most notably the Annapolis Group, to not waste money on lawsuits and to work with HRM.

Dusan Soudek, director of environment, Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia
(Chronicle Herald Jan 24, 2018)

For some history, see Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes: A Brief History (EAC)