Turtle Nesting Time again 11May2022

The picture is of a nesting snapping turtle at Sandy Lake Last year

Writes Clarence Stevens in the Halifax Field Naturalists Nature Archive today:

It is turtle nesting time again.

This amazingly diverse area, Sandy Lake-Sackville River, houses three of Nova Scotia’s four turtle species, snapping turtles, painted turtles and wood turtles.

All are under protection as species at risk.

Sandy Lake is only one of a handful of city lakes that still has a healthy turtle population. Continue reading

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Salmon fry spotted in Sandy Lake watershed 3 May2022

Walter Reagan, President of the Sackville Rivers Association forwarded an email he received yesterday from I.G. with some good news: Salmon fry were spotted in Sandy Lake watershed:

I saw good numbers  of salmon fry between Marsh and Sandy Lake a few days ago, every shallow eddy had a dozen or so, watched them feeding for several minutes, very nice to see. Great spawning substrate; the logs and sills are working well.

Digger log installed by SRA on Upper Peverill’s Brook

That’s Good News indeed and more reason to fight hard to protect Sandy Lake!

For more about salmon in the Sackville River Watershed (the Sandy lake Watershed is its biggest sub-watershed), view  Atlantic Salmon (page on this website).

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Follow-up Earth Day with Guided Walk at Sandy Lake on Sat Apr 23

Follow-up  Earth Day (Friday Apr 22nd 2022) with a guided nature walk with Clarence Stevens at Sandy Lake Park, off Smith’s Road, Bedford, on Saturday April 23rd at 2pm.

Come see first hand why this area is so important to save from a looming housing development! Last time we had an outing with Clarence we got to hold baby snapping turtles, and a Barred Own flew right over our heads on huge silent wings! Beautiful!

Register by messaging Clarence directly on his FaceBook page, or just go to the big parking lot at the end of Smith’s Road, just off exit 3 of the 102 highway, 2 pm, this Saturday April 23rd.

Be prepared for 1 ½ to 2 hours exploring spring at Sandy Lake-Sackville River Regional Park.

& Let’s Save Sandy Lake-Sackville River Regional Park!

Continue reading

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In the News… Pressure To Develop Sandy Lake Area; Lake Monitoring 20Apr2022

Update Apr 21, 2022: The Feds think ecological corridors provided by areas such as Sandy Lake are important. See Parks Canada, Government of Canada launches new National Program for Ecological Corridors (Posted Apr 21, 2022)

Walter Regan on the Todd Veinotte Show
Interview is at the beginning, 0 to 10:45 min “Walter Regan discusses the plan to fast-track housing development in an ecologically diverse area, raising concerns for conservationists who’ve been fighting for years to protect the unspoiled land west of Halifax.” It is an impassioned and comprehensive overview of the major issues as only Walter Regan can do…

Municipality launches LakeWatchers Water Quality Monitoring Program
HRM Public Service Announcement “The municipality is launching a new Lake Water Quality Monitoring Program called LakeWatchers, which will conduct environmental monitoring in 76 lakes across the municipality. The purpose of the program is to collect data, such as pH levels, to inform future actions to maintain or improve a lake’s health. The data will be publicly available through future staff reports to Regional Council and through the municipality’s Open Data Portal. “Includes Sandy Lake.

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Please be on the lookout for Hemlock Wooly Adelgid in the vicinity of Sandy Lake (Bedford NS) 25Mar2022

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. “Their name comes from waxy white filaments they make to protect themselves from drying out. These “hemlock vampires” were first discovered in 1951 in Virginia, and by 2005 had spread to fifteen other states.
Source: Paul Hetzler, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Photo source: Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Bugwood.org

We learned of the arrival of this  really horrible pest, the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA), aka the Hemlock Vampires, in NS (and in all of Atlantic Canada) only in Aug of 2017, which seems like ages ago now.

When first discovered, it had already spread though  three counties at the southwest extremity of NS (Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne) so likely had hopped across the gulf of Maine (or got a ride on some wood) from infected areas in the northeastern USA – see map. It is not known in N.B.

The latest update (Dec 31, 2022, below) shows it spreading progressively though the province, now many confirmed sites  in Annapolis and Queens Co.  and a few in each of Kings and Lunenburg Co. Continue reading

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The Halifax Regional Plan review: Where we are and what’s left to do 8Jan2022

“In the last few years, Halifax has experienced unprecedented population growth; going from an approximate 1% growth rate in the earlier 2000s to a 2% annual growth rate in the last few years. This sudden change began in 2016 and has continued since… this year, with our population increasing by 2.5% to 459, 938.” (Source: What We Heard Report, PDF Page 431). An annual growth rate of 2.5%, if maintained, translates to a doubling time of 28 years. Where will the new residents live? “Between 1992 and 2014, Halifax nearly doubled in area but only grew in population by a fifth. To ensure continued access to nature, livable communities, and lower our tax burden we must control the sprawl of development.”  – Our HRM Alliance. Our HRM Alliance has been a strong advocate of The Halifax Green Network Plan (HGNP) as a mechanism to “protect the areas that are crucial to our human and non-human ecosystems, and to direct growth to the areas where we need it the most”. The HGNP remains to be fully implemented. The New Regional Plan, now being developed, – and how the province get’s involved – will play a big role in whether and how that happens.
Click on images on this page for larger versions

Delving into the current Regional Plan review  can be challenging because of the voluminous materials and complex consultation and decision-making processes but how it all pans out  affects all of us; accordingly,  it behooves as many of us as possible delving into it, a least a bit. Continue reading

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Regional Council Motion for “optimal conceptual boundary for an expanded Sandy Lake Regional Park” passes 9Nov2021

Some really good news for all life on and around Sandy Lake and Marsh Lake…

It was item 15.5.1 by Councillor Blackburn for the November 9, 2021 Halifax Regional Council Meeting:

15.5.1 Councillor Blackburn – Sandy Lake [PDF]
That Halifax Regional Council:

1. Suspend the Rules of Procedure under section 17 of Administrative Order One, the Procedures of the Council Administrative Order; and

2. Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to direct staff to retain an independent consultant to assist with expediting the preparation of a staff report and recommendation for the purpose of identifying an optimal conceptual boundary for an expanded Sandy Lake Regional Park based on environmental information about the area considering: Continue reading

Posted in Conservation, Regional Park proposal, Regional Plan, Sandy Lake | Leave a comment

SRA Thursday Nov 4, 2021: Wil Brunner on Outdoor Nature Wellness

Received from SRA:

TITLE: Outdoor Nature Wellness: how intentional time outdoors can enhance mental health.

Wil Brunner will be giving this talk this Thursday November 4 via ZOOM.

Please send an email to:

sackvillerivers@ns.sympatico.ca to obtain the ZOOM link details.

About Wil Brunner


Wil Brunner is from Port Sydney, in the Muskoka Region of Ontario, where he grew up around a lake fishing, swimming and walking through the woods.

Continue reading

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First Lake Pollution Control Tender issued 19Oct2021

Google Map showing location & settlement for Sandy, First and Second Lakes

View Tender Details
Bids Opening and Closing on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

View Tender and Additional Documents (Zip File)

– 21-418.pdf (Request for Proposal Doc)
– Bathymetric profiles of First Lake.pdf
– D_Tymstra Thesis_A Paleolimnological Record of Anthropogenic Impact on Water Quality in First Lake, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia.pdf
– HRM_Final Report Draft_Beach Water Quality.pdf
– Kinap Beach Closures 2010-2019.pdf
– RFPAppendixB-MSAforProfessionalServices2020-06-30.pdf
– SupplierQuestionnaire-2021-09-20.pdf Continue reading

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SRA Thursday Oct 7, 2021: Sandy Lake, The Forgotten Park

Presentation by Karen Robinson, Chair, Sandy Lake  Regional Park Coalition

A Zoom Meeting, begins at  7 pm.

Register by e-mail to sackvillerivers@ns.sympatico.ca

Phone (902) 865-9238

Posted in Conservation, Events, Regional Plan, Sandy Lake | Leave a comment