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Draft Hemlock Ravine Management Plan Released
(Tuesday, June 20/2000)-- A coalition of government and non-government agencies released the draft management plan for Hemlock Ravine Park today and announced two public "open house" sessions to receive public comment on the plan today at Halifax City Hall.
The management plan will help guide the protection and management of Hemlock Ravine, at Prince's Lodge, for the next decade. If adopted by Council, it will be the first Municipal Park Management Plan in a series intended for significant parks in HRM.
Concern for the Hemlock Ravine Park was raised last summer when a local developer cut several hectares of old-growth hemlock tress for a planned residential development, immediately adjacent to the park. Many park users assumed at the time that the trees cut were within the park and, therefore, were protected. Although the trees were located on private lands, some experts say the loss of these trees may have negative impacts on remaining hemlocks within the park.
Another concern is the impact that planned new development, just north of the most sensitive portion of the park, will have on the environment. Some believe these developments can potentially change drainage patterns into the Hemlock Ravine, and introduce 18,000 new residents directly on the park doorstep. The plan contains management strategies and uses a environmental zoning approach to balance human-use with protection of the natural and cultural features of the park.
"With this, we will avoid future missteps, such as we saw last summer when several hectares of old-growth forest adjacent to the park were cut," said Clarence Stevens, President of the Friends of Hemlock Ravine.
"HRM is very proud to be working with the community and conservation interests to ensure the park is protected and respected. While this plan doesn't directly impose any regulations on the park's neighbors, it does ensure that the municipality manages the park with a clear understanding of its sensitivities and the potential impacts of increased development in the area." said Peter Bigelow, General Manager, HRM Parks and Recreation Services.
"We think that this management plan will go a long way towards protecting the park. We believe that we have a good draft and now we are looking forward to receiving public comment to make it even better" said Colin Stewart, Halifax Field Naturalists
The public is invited to discuss the draft plan at one of two planned Open Houses, to be held at Grosvenor Wentworth School, between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM, on Wednesday, June 28th and Thursday, June 29th.
Individuals or organizations wishing to submit written submissions may do so by mail to: Peter Bigelow, Halifax Regional Municipality, PO Box 1749, Halifax, B3J.
Peter Bigelow, Halifax Regional Municipality
Co-Chair, Hemlock Ravine Management Plan
Colin Stewart, Halifax Field Naturalists
Co-Chair, Hemlock Ravine Management Plan
Hemlock Ravine Park
Hemlock Ravine is a 210-acre natural park located at Prince's Lodge, in the Mainland North area of Halifax.
Half of the parklands is owned by the Province of Nova Scotia and is leased to the Halifax Regional Municipality. The remaining lands are owned by the municipality.
The regional park was initiated in the early 1970's as a means to protect significant stands of old-growth hemlocks and other stands of native forest, as well as provide a park for the enjoyment of citizens. Portions of the park were originally part of the estate used by the Duke of Kent in the late 1700's. The Duke developed gardens, water features and walking paths in some portions of what is now Hemlock Ravine Park.
Currently, the park is used for walking and other passive recreational pursuits in a natural setting.
Agencies Participating in the Management Plan Development
Halifax Regional Municipality
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
Halifax Regional Water Commission
Prince's Lodge Residents Association
Friends of Hemlock Ravine
Halifax Field Naturalists
Canadian Field Naturalists Society
Rockingham Historical Society
Nature Conservancy of Canada
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