What ever happened to the ‘Keep it Natural’ ethic once adopted for Point Pleasant Park, post Hurricane Juan? 25Nov2023

A comment by JackPine22

Thinned –  view walking into the park, not far in, at left  (Nov 3, 2023)
Click on images for larger versions

Thinning of Point Pleasant Park,  begun in 2019 is apparently not yet completed.

From the Point Pleasant Park Operations Update Jul 6, 2023: Phases 1 and 2 of the Forestry Thinning Project are since Completed as of Fall 2020. No Tender will be issued for Phase 3 in 2023, as this project was cut from the Budget. Completion planned for Fall 2024.

Not Thinned – view to right as walk up to the Marcello Tower (Nov 3, 2023)

Walking the park, the  extensive and intensive thinning within PPP is striking.

Visiting the park with a friend recently, she asked as we walked in -“what happened there?” (see photo above).  It hardly looks ‘natural’ or even attractive at this stage, at least to this viewer and friend.

A bit further on, by the entrance to the Martello Tower, there are some still un-thinned post Juan disturbance stands. To us, at least, the latter is much more natural, more calming (not to mention the chainsaw noise we had to endure during the many months of thinning).

‘Would be interesting to look at the differences in biodiversity between such thinned and unthinned post Juan disturbance  stands. Certainly I would expect more herb cover in the thinned stands, but what about soil inverts, bird nesting etc.? What about invasive species (plants and slugs in particular)?

And perhaps if they stopped thinning now (instead of completing the planned thinning), and left such un-thinned stands un-thinned,  we might even be able to determine if thinned stands are more “windfirm”, one of the reasons cited for conducting the thinning. (View some of the literature on the topic, even NS Gov. statements do not appear to support blanket thinning of the type being conducted in PPP to increase resistance to winds.)

Regardless, I have to wonder ‘What ever happened to the ‘Keep it Natural’ ethic once adopted, post-Hurricane Juan after extensive consultation with users?’ (I have stopped wondering why the public engagement on PPP that was routine a few years back is no more.)

From the Point Pleasant Park Comprehensive Plan (2008), Chapter. 3

The extent of thinning in PPP also seems at variance with HRM’s efforts at ‘Naturalization‘.

Read more about the thinning issue.

‘Happy to post considered rebuttals to this perspective

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