Save Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes

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Canoeists on Susies Lake, one of several Birch Cove Lakes put in danger by facilitator’s report. Photo by Irwin Barrett. Used with permission.

Here is my open letter to Mayor Mike Savage and Halifax councillors.

Dear Mayor Savage and Councillors,

From the moment I took my first hike in the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes wilderness area, I was amazed by the beauty of the landscape. With all the lakes, trees, streams, and rock outcroppings providing stunning views, it was pure Canadiana in all its splendour.

I fear with the recent facilitator’s report that some councillors will forget about the promise that was made by council to create an urban wilderness park in conjunction with the province. I also fear that Council is not fully aware of the tremendous opportunity that will be lost. The Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park is an opportunity to create a mini-Kejimkujik within our city limits.

It would be a tremendous recreational destination that would be accessible to all in Halifax because one could get to it on a city bus. Once there, one could enjoy a quick paddle or rent a canoe. There is a portage route around the lakes that provides the quintessential Canadian experience right in our backyard. We need to preserve this and promote it, not allow more urban sprawl.

No decision to set land aside for parkland is ever regretted. Point Pleasant Park, Shubie Park, Hemlock Ravine, and Fleming Park are just a few of the cherished parks we have in our city.

The recent facilitator’s report failed to achieve its stated objective or even meet the stated terms of reference. Please reject it and do not enter into any secondary planning with the landowners. Instead, I urge Council to purchase these lands and make this park a reality. If you do, it will be your finest accomplishment and a legacy for which future generations will thank you.

Sincerely,

Ryan Van Horne

NOTE: If you would like to learn more about this issue, please go to this link on the city’s webpage and read the facilitator’s report. If you would like to make your own comment, you can e-mail directly to clerks@halifax.ca or use this link provided by CPAWS, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

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4 comments on “Save Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes

  1. Ryan, i couldn’t have stated the reasons to save this area any better! Thank-You! Just to let you or anyone else know, i have a Gallery listing on my website titled: Wild Places- Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes where i have posted almost 200 of my best photos on this endangered wilderness area. Please have a look.
    Thanks Ryan!

  2. Ryan, for some reason when i filled in the details below the Reply box i thought it might be listed with the comments. My website is: irwin-barrett.artistwebsites.com where my Gallery listing is : http://irwin-barrett.pixels.com/collections/wild+places+blue+mountain+birch+cove+lakes+wilderness. Thanks again for your help in saving this wilderness jewel so valuable that it shouldn’t be turned into another sprawling subdivision and more condos!

    • Irwin, it’s so generous of you to share your pictures with everyone. I hope they inspire more people to explore and appreciate this natural treasure right in our city.

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