Where are the opportunities to improve and expand the Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area and Halifax's proposed regional park? What can be done to move the regional park forward? Read on!
The Nova Scotia Nature Trust, a charity dedicated to the protection of Nova Scotia’s natural legacy through land conservation, signed a purchase and sale agreement in October, 2019 with the owners of a 560 acre parcel of land– Blue Mountain Wilderness Connector (map-yellow block). The block joins two disjunct sections of the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area.
This block represents a critically vulnerable gap where forestry operations and housing development would have significant negative impacts on the existing terrestrial and aquatic habitats. To acquire and save this block, the Nature Trust has launched its Save the Wild Blue campaign.
What You'll Find in the Connector Block
(And throughout most of the BMBCL!)
Why the Connector Block is an Important Opportunity!
> The block is located at the centre of a priority area for conservation: The Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. This is the only piece of land that can connect the west side of BMBCL to the main, eastern section.
> It is an essential wildlife corridor that also preserves the overall ecological balance of the BMBCL. Wildlife common to the BMBCL include otters, beavers, bobcat, coyote, snowshoe hare, porcupine and more.
> The price, which takes into account an 'in kind' contribution by the current owners, is exemplary for this type of land within the urban context of HRM.
> Local communities will be well served along with all of HRM whowill be able to enjoy superb recreational opportunities via an established canoe route and hiking trails for generations to come through an uninterrupted network of land and water connections.
> The connector block is only 2.4 km from the former Barrett Lands, acquired by HRM in 2019 to form part of the BMBCL Regional Park - presenting a real opportunity for back country trail connections.
> The Halifax Green Network Plan shows the BMBCL at the centre of a priority area for the “preservation and creation of natural connections to the Chebucto Peninsula" (Section 4.3.3 Actions 32 & 33)
> The Halifax Urban Master Forest Plan outlines the many values of the urban forest including benefits to air quality, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, economy, energy use, health (of residents), hydrology, and noise-reduction.
> The Halifax Economic Growth Plan makes specific reference to increasing... "people's access to the outdoors by leveraging the municipality's natural assets" (Goal 3. Item 39). The connector block will enhance, expand and amplify that objective.
> The lakes and streams included in the connector block are an essential component of the Nine Mile River Watershed, deemed worthy of protection by HRM as per "...provides an opportunity to protect headwaters of both the Birch Cove Lakes and Nine Mile River watersheds. This assures better water quality for communities downstream, and the natural environment." (HRM Website: Proposed Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park)
> Stewardship of the property will be addressed by the Nature Trust as is their policy for the 80+ other properties under their care.
The Big Picture
How You Can Help
the Nature Trust is accepting donations in support of the Save the Wild Blue campaign.
Click on the button below to make your contribution!