2022 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – Sept 1, 2022 Estabrooks Community Hall 6 PM

The WRWEO AGM will be held on Thursday, September 1 at the Estabrooks Community Hall (4408 St Margarets Bay Rd). The meeting starts at 6:00 pm and will conclude by 7:30 pm. Masks will be mandatory and a virtual option for attendance will be sought, more details to follow.

We will elect this year’s Board of Directors, present the Chair’s report, and review WRWEO’s financial statements. Mike Lancaster will provide highlights of the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program, which has now been going for five years. 

Agenda 

AGM minutes 2021

2021 BTSP Year in Review

Co-Chair’s Report 

Financial Report 

This past year we have seen increased activity and harmful human impacts on The Bluff Trail. In particular, there has been a great increase in the number of illegal fire pits. We need your help more than ever to protect and maintain The Bluff Trail and Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area.

Our 2022 Summer Stewardship Technicians: Reilly, Chris, Ezra, and Lucas, are on the Trail sharing knowledge, spreading awareness, and remediating damages, like illegally-created fire pits. Much of their work is focused on the impacts that our cumulative use brings to the trail and they are sharing some strategies on how we can change our behaviours to avoid them. They’ll also provide trail users with ways that they can help the efforts to steward the Trail, as doing so is a huge job that needs all the help it can get.

Registration – online via our form on Website, or send your name, email, phone #, and address to info@wrweo.ca.  

Membership costs $5, pay online – membership must be up-to-date in order to participate.

If you’re interested in helping direct the work on the trail or want to get involved with research on the trail or greater wilderness area please contact us at info@wrweo.ca.

twitter (Bluff Trail) @wrweo https://twitter.com/wrweo
instagram  Bluff Trail QR code Instagram

Come out and meet the Board of Directors – Monday June 27, 2022 5:30PM

The WRWEO Board is meeting at the trail head on Monday June 27, 2022. Come out and see how we conduct our business and pick up a Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail tree cookie/coaster ($20), a waterproof map ($5), or a pamphlet about the plants of the Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail ($5).

Coasters, Map and Pamphlet

WRWEO needs to raise funds to replace the long boardwalk which will cost about $75,000. So please come out, buy some Bluff Trail items and donate.

Via PayPal

You can also donate to WRWEO via N.S. Trails & get a tax receipt, go to Donate Now Choose “General Donation” and specify the donation is for WRWEO or the Bluff Trail in the “Message/Instructions for NS Trails” section, and get a tax receipt.

Please also e-mail us (info@wrweo.ca) to let us know about the donation. Thanks.

To Support the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program specifically, please make  a cheque written to: St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association and mail it to WRWEO 223 – 3045 Robie Street, Unit 5 Halifax NS B3K 4P6 or online through the Canada Helps portal on the Heart of the Bay website (https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/13116) – select: Bluff Wilderness Trail as the fund you wish to support. Thank you!

Re: Exclusion of the Chebucto Peninsula from the Core Habitat in the 2021 Moose Recovery Plan

In March 2022 WRWEO, the Five Bridges Heritage Trust and the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association wrote to the Honourable Minister of Natural Resources Tory Rushton asking him and the department to reconsider the exclusion of the Chebucto peninsula from the Core Habitat in the 2021 Moose Recovery Plan.

See our letter here: Letter to Minister Chebucto Peninsula Moose Recovery

See the Minister’s response here: Response letter from Minister Chebucto Peninsula Moose Recovery

Background documents:

The Chebucto Peninsula & the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area (FBLWA)

Moose & Wildlife Corridors 1

Extracts from the Halifax Green Network Plan addressing connectivity issues related to the Chebucto Peninsula

Looking for quotes on trail work for 2022 – side of trail brush cutting and deadfall removal

Are you interested in submitting bids on work in the back country on the Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail?

Work to be completed –

  • Request for Proposal (RFP) #2022-1 – side of trail brush cutting & dead fall removal,

You must have liability insurance, Workers Compensation coverage and follow Halifax’s Occupational Health and Safety guidelines.

Please get in touch with WRWEO to get copies of our RFP for this season – contact us at info@wrweo.ca or call 902-876-7377.

WRWEO receives financial support for maintenance from Halifax.

WRWEO recognizes the support of the Province of Nova Scotia. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

 

Sandy Lake Regional Park Study – November 9 2021 Halifax council motion

Please support Councillor Blackburn’s motion for a Sandy Lake Regional Park Boundary Extension Study (Agenda Item 15.5.1) being presented at this Tuesday’s Council meeting, Nov 9.

Here is the link to the council agenda and the motion of Councillor Blackburn: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council/november-9-2021-halifax-regional-council

There is very little time!!

Please contact your councillors to support this motion! And/Or send a quick letter to Council in support of the motion, you can send an email to clerks@halifax.ca and/or to the mayor mayor@halifax.ca. You can find your councillors contact information on the city website here: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/districts-councillors

The Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization (WRWEO) is part of the coalition to protect Sandy Lake. We support the expansion of the Sandy Lake – Sackville River Regional Park (SL – SRRP) by an additional 1,800 acres as advocated by the SL – SRRP Coalition.

We oppose the efforts of developers to destroy the wilderness located in the unprotected lands in this area to accommodate a new housing project. That would be contrary to what is needed to fight climate change and protect biodiversity and also contrary to the conception of the Halifax Green Network Plan adopted by Regional Council in 2018.

There are two major reasons for our support of the proposed Sandy Lake-Sackville River Regional Park and to stop development in that area:

1. Population and outdoor recreation continue to grow in HRM, while greenspace declines. We have experienced greatly increased use of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail over the last 5 years and already we are at or over our capacity to accommodate this use. The Jack Lake lands within the proposed Sandy Lake-Sackville River Regional Park lie between major growth areas and have extensive informal trails currently. Many of them are old logging roads through magnificent forests and would require little modification and maintenance to accommodate much more use than they receive currently.

2. The lands west of Sandy Lake within the proposed SL-SRRP are part of an existing wildlife corridor important for connectivity between the lands of the Chebucto Peninsula and the greater mainland, as identified in a recent report (Appendix G in the submission from the SL-SRRP Coalition). The Halifax Green Network Plan highlighted the need to ensure such connectivity, although not this particular corridor apparently because parts of it south of Hammonds Plains Road are now committed to development (Halifax Bedford West).  Regardless, even if partially fragmented in that way, as the Green Network Plan says in section 4.1.3.1 “…maintain the largest possible remnant patches and encourage best management practices in intervening areas to provide opportunities for wildlife movement between patches.”  It is still worth retaining the lands west of Sandy Lake in their natural state as “stepping stones”. They might be considered analogous to the ferry system between Halifax and Dartmouth, not carrying as much as the bridges, but still vital for many people.

Thus for the sake of both wildlife and healthy outdoor recreation well into the future, it is urgent to incorporate measures that will protect the integrity of the lands of the proposed SL-SRRP in the Regional Plan.

 

Looking for volunteers for Sunday August 1, 2021

Are you interested in helping out on trail? Would you like to meet some board members and volunteers? We are planning an excursion to address trail markings at the junction of the Pot Lake and Mi’kmaw Hill Loops – many people get confused here and we are trying to make it clear with markers in buckets but folks have been kicking over our buckets so we are paddling some cement out there and filling the buckets with cement. You can join us on the hike out where we will pick up trash and fix some trail barriers on the way to the junction.

You will need to review and sign this waiver form.

Rules and procedures to follow for all WRWEO events.

Please let us know if you are interested in coming out – it will be on Sunday August 1, 2021 – exact time and place to be determined. Send us an email to: info@wrweo.ca

Trail work – danger – workers with clear cutting saws

Side of trail brush trimming is being done on the 4th (Hay Marsh) Loop this Summer (2021).
If you see a worker – maintain at least a 10 m distance between you and them. Use your whistle to get their attention. DO NOT APPROACH THEM UNTIL THEY KNOW YOU ARE THERE, AND SIGNAL THAT YOU MAY PASS. The saw is dangerous and has a very large cutting radius.

BLT rails to trails will be closed – May 13 – 14 2021 (no access to Bluff Trail head)

Please be advised that the B.L.T. Rails to Trails will be closed for trail maintenance from May 13 to May 14. This closure will only affect a portion of the trail, from KM7 (Bay Storage/Bluff Parking Lot) to KM 13 (Hubley). The trail will have heavy construction equipment and therefore for safety purposes the trail will be closed to all users. We ask all users to check www.blttrails.ca on a regular basis for more information. Please share with your networks and post on any social media pages.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience. Trail safety is a priority for the B.L.T. Rails to Trails.

WRWEO’s 2021 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – Wednesday April 28, 2021 at 6:00 PM

The AGM will be held on April 28, 2021 via Zoom. The meeting starts at 6:00 pm and will conclude by 7:30 pm. 

This past year we have seen increased activity and harmful human impacts on The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. We need your help more than ever to protect and maintain the Bluff Trail and Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area.

We will elect this year’s Board of Directors, present the Chair’s report, review WRWEO’s financial statements and Mike Lancaster will provide highlights of the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program, which has now been going for four years.

Registration – online via our form on Website, or send your name, email, phone # and address to info@wrweo.ca.  We will email you the Zoom link in order to participate.

Membership costs $5, pay online – membership must be up-to-date in order to participate.

Link: 2021 WRWEO AGM Agenda

Link: 2020-07-07 WRWEO AGM 2020 Minutes 

Link: Bluff Trail Stewardship Program, Year In Review Report, 2020 

Link: WRWEO Chair’s report AGM 2021

Link: WRWEO Financial Statements 2020 

Sandy Lake – Halifax Park Survey – make sure you get to submit your opinions

From the Sandy Lake Coalition – There is still time to respond to this important survey that could protect wildlife corridors at the fragile pinch point between (& from beyond) Sandy Lake-Sackville River and the Chebucto Peninsula:

https://www.halifax.ca/recreation/parks-trails-gardens/park-planning-projects/bedford-west

It is important that citizens who live in Bedford West and those who do not live there respond to this survey by the March 5th deadline. This issue is bigger than just Bedford West resident’s park access.  Its primary problem is that it ignores the Halifax Green Network Plan (HGNP). There is no reference to HGNP wildlife corridors within this area, and clearly no plan as to how wildlife is to move from the BMBCL Wilderness Area to the Mainland or the Chebucto Peninsula. There are a number of opportunities to make comments in the survey, and one for general comments at the end. Ecological decisions and park decisions need to be closely connected, especially in this serious pinch point identified in the HGNP.

WRWEO also encourages you to advocate that all these areas have Leave No Trace principles applied to them and that the city seeks to implement a community stewardship program (like we have in the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program) to ensure ongoing sustainability and stewardship of the lands.