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Walks & Talks

About Our Walks and Talks

Our walks are led by specialists or well schooled naturalists, and provide a good way to expand your knowledge of local natural history as well as to mingle with members of the natural history community.

Deep Cove Nature Reserve
Brad Armstrong and Doug van Hemessen led HFN participants into the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Deep Cove Nature Reserve on Oct 24, 2015.

We usually have one or more walks a month throughout the year. All participants in HFN activities are responsible for their own safety. Always wear suitable clothing and footwear for the weather, the activity, and the terrain. If in doubt, call the contact person listed for each field trip.

Our talks are given by both experts and interested amateurs. They provide an opportunity to learn what local scientists, volunteers, and HFN members are up to. Regular meetings with talks are held on the first Thursday of every month except July and August at 7:30 PM in the auditorium of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax. Meetings are open to the public. Use the entrance next to the parking lot. There is a charge for parking at the Museum; usually, two hours will be adequate.

Upcoming Events



Field Trip – Backyard Bees – Saturday, July 23 New Date: August 6

A familiar face, Michelle McPherson, gave us a fascinating talk at the NSMNH in May 2019 (pre Covid) on four of the six families of Nova Scotia bees. This time around she’ll lead us on a walk at the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum where hopefully we’ll find a variety of some of these very same bees. As an experienced beekeeper, Michelle will be able to ID and elaborate on which bees we do find. Considering the distressing state the world’s pollinators are in, this event should prove most timely and informative. Registration is required for any necessary follow-up information or changes. In lieu of a fee, Michelle will gladly accept donations, with 100% of the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders for their work in Ukraine.

Rain Date: Sunday, July 24th New Date Aug 7
Contact: Bernie McKenna, 434-3202,
Time/Place: 1:00 p.m. New Time: 11 a.m. at the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum, 471 Poplar Drive, Dartmouth.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy, mostly packed earth or grassed areas



Field Trip – The Year of the Garden (Roses) – Saturday, July 23 Cancelled

2022 has officially been proclaimed “The Year of the Garden” – the year in which our municipality celebrates the valuable contributions of gardens and gardening in communities throughout our region, contributions which include positive impacts on quality of life, the creation of safe and healthy spaces for neighbours to come together, and activities which can help us reach our climate action goals.



Field Trip – Shubenacadie Canal – Saturday, August 13

At conception, this canal was originally designed and built to connect Halifax Harbour to the Minas Basin by way of the Shubenacadie River. Long-serving Canal Guide Richard MacMichael will lead us upstream along this historic canal. From the Fairbanks Centre we’ll proceed north with Richard along the east side of the canal past Locks 2 and 3 to the base of Lake Charles. There we’ll cross the canal and come back down its west side back to our starting point. Along the way, Richard will discuss and point out various places of interest as well as many tidbits of canal knowledge which I suspect many of us are unfamiliar with. Following the walk, we are invited to explore Fairbanks Centre itself and see the extensive artifacts and displays it has to offer.

Please do register so that any necessary updated event information can be supplied to you.

Rain Date: Saturday, August 20th
Contact/Registration: Bernie McKenna, 434-3202,
Time/Place: 10:00 a.m. at the Fairbanks Centre’s main entrance at 54 Locks Road
Duration: 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy; only hard-packed earthen paths



Field Trip – The Year of the Garden (Dahlias) – Tuesday, August 16

2022 has officially been proclaimed “The Year of the Garden” – the year in which our municipality celebrates the valuable contributions of gardens and gardening in communities throughout our region, contributions which include positive impacts on quality of life, the creation of safe and healthy spaces for neighbours to come together, and activities which can help us reach our climate action goals.

The highlight of this tour is sure to be the many varieties of Dahlia that the Garden hosts.

Pre-registration is required.

Rain Date: None
Contact/Registration: Patti Leclerc, 880-2228;
Time/Place: 6:00 p.m. at the Visitor Information Centre and Café Gate on Coburg Road.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy



Field Trip – Mainland Common – Friday, August 26

Jessica Boyd, Chair of the Halifax North West Trails Association (HNWTA) will lead a walk on the Mainland Common Loop off the Mainland North Trail and also the planned extension to it. HNWTA is one of many volunteer community trail groups in HRM. Their area encompasses 12 trails in Fairview, Clayton Park, Rockingham, Bedford South, and the Blue Mountain/Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area.

Registration is required.

Rain Date: Saturday, August 27th
Contact/Registration: Mille MacCormack,
Time/Place: 2:00 p.m. at the parking lot at the end of Westridge Drive, Clayton Park.
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate. The Loop is 1 km of wood chip surface; the extension is a 2 km path of unmaintained rocks and roots.



Monthly Meeting – From Coast to Coast to Coast – Thursday, September 1

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.



Field Trip – Melmerby Weekend – Friday, September 9 to Sunday, September 11

Post-COVID, Stephanie and Allan Robertson will once again host HFN members at their Melmerby Beach cottages on the Northumberland Strait for swimming, beachcombing, canoeing/kayaking, hiking, birding, and star watching. An ‘informal’ event, flora/fauna knowledge will be shared by participants on any walks they would like to plan/take. For early risers, Great Blue Heron, Snowshoe Hare, and White-tailed Deer can be expected; also Chipmunk, Red Fox, Gopher, and many birds. Registration is required for a maximum of 13 participants for inside accommodation; one tent and one or two camper vans can also be accomodated. Bring sunscreen, hats, insect repellant, and clothing suitable for always variable seaside weather.

Rain Date: Friday to Sunday, September 16-18
Contact/Registration: Stephanie Robertson, 422-6326,
Time/Place: Anytime after 2:00 p.m. on Friday, 27 Old Sand Road, off Hwy 289 (Little Harbour Road). Maps, directions, and other information will be provided upon registration.
Duration: A two-hour drive from Halifax; the stay will be for two days and two nights.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate, depending upon trip sites and activities



Field Trip – Shannon Park Trail – Wednesday, September 21

The Shannon Park trail in Dartmouth runs along the side of the former Shannon Park Subdivision complex to a point overlooking the harbour narrows under the McKay bridge. This look-off has several excellent interpretative signs, and – the view of the harbour from there is just tremendous! Along the way, we’ll see how various plants are reclaiming land that was formerly heavily used by humans. While it’s unlikely we’ll see deer, the impact of their browsing will be obvious. Registration is required so that participants can be informed of finalised information and times.

Rain Date: Thursday, September 22
Contact/Registration: Bernie McKenna 902-434-3202,
Time/Place: Time to be announced, 75 Iroquois Drive, Dartmouth. Parking is on the right just past Shannon Park School.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy; a hard-packed earthen trail with a wooden boardwalk at the look-off.