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.
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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

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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: 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.

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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

Phone (902) 865-9238

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Motion to review policies, better protect HRM wetlands on Regional Council agenda for Aug 31, 2021

A welcome initiative by Councillor Kathryn Morse (District 10: Halifax Bedford Basin West):

Wetlands to the southwest of Sandy Lake along the watercourses feeding the lake are vital to the health of Sandy Lake

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Marsh Lake a Duck’s Unlimited “Treasured Wetland” 5Jul2021

UPDATE Jul 8, 2021:
Join us for an afternoon at Sandy Lake Beach, we are hosting an interpretive event to commemorate the final day of the Treasured Wetlands Bioblitz 2021. All are welcome from 12:00 – 3:30 pm on Monday July 12th, 2021.

Come take a peek into our specimen collection with the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park; learn about the importance of our wetlands, species at risk, and what you can do to help!

If you’re feeling extra adventurous register for the guided hike up to Marsh Lake at 1:30pm! Register soon as spots are limited. Click the link to register and to learn more about the guided hike.

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Water Quality Monitoring Program approved by HRM standing committee, sampling would include Sandy Lake 4Jun2021

An unpleasant algal bloom in Sandy lake in early August of 2019 was an “early warning sign” that the lake is in a precarious state. View DRAFT Report On the State of Sandy Lake, the Historical Trends and its Future Trajectory (David Patriquin, Feb 23, 2021)

Good News!!! Yesterday, this motion was approved by the Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee:

That the Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee recommend that Halifax Regional Council direct the Chief Administrative Officer to adopt and implement a detailed water quality monitoring program based on Framework 1 as outlined by AECOM in their Water Quality Monitoring Policy and Program Development Report, as outlined in the Discussion section of the staff report dated May 6, 2021.

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HRM releases Themes & Directions Report 20May2021

From the Report:

This document, the Themes and Directions Report, is the first deliverable of the Regional Plan Review. The purpose of this document is to explain the scope of the Regional Plan Review to the public, stakeholders and Regional Council, and to seek feedback. This document shares ideas about key planning issues and provides details of the work that will be completed during the review. The feedback we receive will help provide focus and direction for future work during the Review.

There will be opportunities for feedback, TBA.

View document as PDF (117 pages)

View by section under Regional Plan Review Continue reading

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Thurs May 6, 2021: Measuring and celebrating wetlands in the Sackville River Watershed

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