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Original HFN Board members still meet!

Three members of the first HFN board are all working for nature in Ontario. Left to right: Winnifrid Cairns, Paul Keddy, Cathy Keddy. They met this spring in Waterloo, Ontario, at a meeting where Paul was given the W.E. Saunders award for Natural History by Ontario Nature. (Photo courtesy of David Wake)

Dr. Bill Freedman Nature Reserve

HFNers will recognize the beauty and value of this site which we visited in July of 2014, now named after Bill Freedman. Amongst many other public interest contributions, Bill served as Vice-President of the Halifax Field Naturalists (1980-1983). View CH article about the Nature Reserve and Dr. Bill.
UPDATE, Sep 29th. Bill died peacefully at home on Sep 26. On Bill’s Life

Young Naturalists explore the Rocky Intertidal

The Young Naturalists Halifax Chapter begin their 2015/2016 season with an exploration of the Rocky Intertidal Zone, led by Pat Harding and David Patriquin. Museum Session Saturday Sep 19 10:30 at NSMNH & Field Trip Sunday Sep 27. Details
Ever wonder what the rocky intertidal looks like below water at high tide? View video (Peggy’s Cove area).

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015: Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lake Public Open House

A draft trail plan for provincially-protected area of Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes will be presented this Thursday, Sept. 17, at 4:00pm at the Maskwa Aquatic Club, 91 Saskatoon Dr. See the invite here.

Nova Scotia protected crownland in Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes in 2009, which is the area to be discussed at this meeting. Our HRM Alliance continues to advocate for Halifax to follow through on its 2006 Regional Plan commitment to acquire the land necessary to complete the full park.

Update on invasive plant in Frog Pond

invasive sp. This past December, I had reported finding Fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana) at the Frog Pond in the Dingle Park, Halifax.

Over the summer, I noticed it growing around most of the edge of the pond, but it was hard to see how far it was growing towards the center.

Now, its small white flowers are emerging above the water surface,
making it easy to see the extent. In my estimate, 1/4 to 1/3 of the
surface is covered by Fanwort, generally in the shallow or protected areas. Read more »

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

THURSDAY, OCT. 1 HFN 40TH ANNIVERSARY TALK: THE ONCE AND FUTURE ATLANTIC
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 »