Important Projects successfully undertaken by

Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization

(WRWEO)   1995-2013

 

Projects are listed under four categories in reverse chronological order.

 

Under Cat.: CON = Conservation, ORG = Organizations  TR = Trail 

W= Watershed, fish, aquatic habitat, water quality

 

Last Update: March 10, 2013

 

Cat.    Yr           Activity

CON

 

2013

2013 ongoing: The five groups that spearheaded the push for protection of the FBLWA are now the founding members of the FBLWA Stewardship Coalition formed to coordinate with NS Environment to care for FBLWA. For information about how to join and/or participate in the first workshop, contact Tom Musial at tom.musial@bellaliant.net

 

CON

2011

2011 As a direct result of the coordinated efforts of CWC,  the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area (FBLWA) was protected in October 2011 by the Province under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act. CWC was led by five groups: BLT Trail Association, the Five Bridge Wilderness Heritage Trust, the Safety-Minded ATV Association, the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association, and WRWEO.

See http://wrweo.ca/ChebWilderness/index.html

 

CON

 

2008

Formation in 2008 of the Chebucto Wilderness Coalition (CWC) in collaboration with FBWHT and some 30 other organizations and political leaders dedicated to persuading the Province to protect approximately 10,000 hectares of public land under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act.

 

CON

2003

Successfully conserving the pocket wilderness in the area of Cranberry Bog through communication with owners of private land there and developers.  

 

CON

2001

Creation of the Interim Wilderness Trust, an arms length group to propose a means to protect some 175 acres of wilderness Crown Land adjacent to our watershed in response to public demand at large meeting sponsored by WRWEO in 2001. This group evolved into the Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust.

 

CON

1995

Creation of a democratic process by which residents could vote on a Crown Land swap proposed by Three Brooks Development Corporation. The threat of such a swap in 1995 triggered the formation of WRWEO. Discussion during the ensuing seven years culminated in a vote held on Mar. 20, 2003 by over 200 members of WRWEO. The developer respected the negative vote (less than 75% in favour) and did not proceed to apply to the province for the land swap.

 

ORG

2013

2013 Ongoing, active participation in environmental organizations, including such as the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association (SMBSA), the Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust (FBWHT), Our HRM Alliance, Buy Back the Mersey.

 

Amongst the organizations, now largely or entirely non-active, we have been involved with in the past are the Chebucto Wilderness Coalition, Watershed Advisory Board (WAB), the SMB Watershed Environmental Taskforce (WET), The Nova Scotia Public Lands Coalition (sponsored by the Ecology Action Centre)

 

ORG

2012

Over the years, Environmental education through communication with homeowner associations and other local groups, such as Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, Safety Minded ATV Club, as well as newspaper articles, brochures, and hosting speakers at AGMs.

 

ORG

2008

Creation of a website at http://www.wrweo.ca with information about our projects and the issues that we are addressing (site posted under wrweo.ca domain in 2008).

 

TR

2013

2013 Ongoing (since 1997) Maintenance and continuous monitoring of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail and the related parking lot. The 32 km trail was completed in 2005. It continues to require hundreds of hours of volunteer activity each year. WRWEO maintains the trail under a Letter of Authority from NS Natural Resources. This authority will soon (2013) be transferred to NS Environment since the trail is now within a protected area.

See http://wrweo.ca/BluffTrail/index.html  Likewise, the Parking Lot requires regular attention to road condition, signage, snow clearance etc.; we conduct those activities in cooperation with and funding from HRM.

 

 

TR

2013

2013 Ongoing (since 2011) Introduced Poetry on The Bluff activity in 2011, repeated 2012. We see it being succeeded by a variety of artistic events on The Bluff

See Photos from 2012 event  

 

TR

2013

2013 Ongoing (since 2010) Introduced stone tread trail construction, with the guidance of Garnet McLaughlin of Cobequid Trail Consulting, in 2010/2011 and conducted workshops on the same in 2011, 2012; see Report for 1st workshop . This technique has now become the standard for our trail maintenance. Boardwalks are still used over larger wetland areas.

TR

2013

2013 Ongoing Active participation in trail organizations, such as Halifax Regional Trails Advisory Team (HRTAT), Nova Scotia Trail Federation (NSTF), and Chebucto Peninsula Trails Alliance that produced the study leading to funding for our trail.

 

TR

2013

2013 ongoing Guided nature walks on The Bluff Trail and assisting scientific study there. See, e.g.,  Natural History Hike on The Bluff Trail

 Report on a Parks Event Hike, Aug 21, 2010

 

TR

2008

In May of 2008 The Bluff Trail was voted by Explore: Canada’s Outdoor Magazine to be one of the eight best “urban escapes” in Canada.

 

TR

2006

Parking Lot for The Bluff Trail completed. The parking lot at 2890 St. Margaret's Bay  Road was  constructed in 2005-2006 after two years planning and public  meetings.

TR

2005

Commissioned Acadia University to study the rate of decomposition and degree of spread of human waste from hikers over time in order to learn how to make The Bluff Trail environmentally sustainable. The 2005 report is available at

http://wrweo.ca/MapsArticles/HumanWasteStudy.pdf

 

TR

2005

Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail Completed. Development of the 32 km trail took place over nine years and entailed thousands of hours of volunteer time and raising over $200,000 from three levels of government.

TR

1996

A Guide to the Trails of the Woodens River Watershed published in 1996 based on the summer work of students. Project was initiated and supervised by WRWEO based on government funding. It is available at http://wrweo.ca/ArchivedDocs/index.html

 

W

2013

2013 Ongoing (since 2012) WRWEO joined with other local groups to form a water quality committee led by SMBSA to create and implement a stewardship plan for the watersheds flowing into the St. Margaret’s Bay. WRWEO’s efforts in this regard are led by Tim McGee.

 

W

2011

Compiled (2010-2011) all known information related to aquatic habitat, fish and water quality for The Woodens River system; & made it available via our website at http://wrweo.ca/AqHabWQ/index.html 

 

W

2011

Study of water quality parameters (e.g. phosphorous, pH, dissolved oxygen) in the upper lakes of the watershed over a 10 year period (2000-2010)cgiving a large data base. See documents at http://wrweo.ca/AqHabWQ/index.html  and Newsletter Report (2011)

 

W

2005

Partially successful in persuading NSDT&PW to protect Cranberry Lake from silting and road run-off along the newly twinned Hwy 103.

 

W

2004

Represented from 1995 to 2004 in monthly meetings of the Five Island Lake Citizens’ Liaison Committee that worked successfully with the province to address the PCB spill in the north bay of Five Island Lake.

By 2008, PCB concentrations had fallen to levels considered non-toxic to humans and wildlife. See reports compiled of WRWEO website at http://wrweo.ca/AqHabWQ/fish.html

 

W

2000

An aquatic survey of life in the streams feeding Woodens River was conducted in 2000. Students did the work during the summer with WRWEO supervision. See Introductory and Advanced Habitat Survey of the Woodens River Watershed, available at http://wrweo.ca/AqHabWQ/Report2000/index.html

 

W

2000

WRWEO initiated in 2000 the Sheldrake Lake Hypolimnetic Aeration Project to reverse the adverse effects of nutrient loading due to development surrounding the lake. The project is ongoing and if successful could have implications for a large number of lakes in Nova Scotia. The project required raising more than $40,000. The project has been turned over to the Sheldrake Lake homeowners.

See http://wrweo.ca/AqHabWQ/sheldrake.html

 

W

1999

Removal of abandoned cars on K roads of the mid to lower watershed in 1999. This project was subsequently and very successfully taken over by FBWHT.

 

W

 

1999

In the spring of 1999 WRWEO held a forestry workshop in the lower watershed of all woodlot owners to discuss with DNR, environmentalists, logging contractors the pros and cons of clear cutting and the alternatives available.

 

W

1998

An extensive physical survey of Woodens River in 1998 collecting over 6000 data points funded through the Youth Conservation Corporation. The project was initiated and supervised by WRWEO.

 

W

1998

Creation of a Watershed Management Plan for the Woodens River Watershed (1998).

 

W

1997

Annual June Fishing Derby held at Stillwater Lake Pond, initiated by WRWEO in 1997, and attracting in time over 200 mostly young fishers who can fish on that day without a license. Event appeared to encourage awareness of fish habitat and its meaning for the environment. Because the purpose of the event was questioned when the environmental message seemed to be lost in the scramble to remove and kill fish stocked the night before and WRWEO decided to discontinue it in 2010.