A WALK IN THE WOODS – IT’S OPEN FOREST DAY IN HRM
On Saturday, October 24, the public is invited to come to the first ever Open Forest Day for a free, fun, and informative visit to a beautiful wilderness area that is located just outside the Halifax core. The target audience for the event, which has been organized by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, is anyone and everyone – young and old, landowners, new Canadians, outdoor enthusiasts, and “couch potatoes.”
The host location is the Maskwa Aquatic Club, located along Kearney Lake at 91 Saskatoon Ave. The Club’s main building will be the hub for various presentations, displays, activities, and restaurant facilities. Some of the presentations being offered include the importance of forests in Nova Scotia; biodiversity in your garden; climate change impacts on the forest; First Nations perspective on the forests; personal safety while in the forest; and living with wildlife even when they become a nuisance to humans.
Visitors are encouraged to hike an easy 1km looped trail that begins at the entrance to the Blue Mountain, Birch Cove Wilderness Area, and snakes through a section of provincial Crown land. It is now the ideal time to enjoy the variety of fall colors, sights, and smells in this mature, mixedwood forest, which is now protected under provincial regulations.
Located around this loop will be dozens of various organizations and individuals who have interesting information, displays, or interactive activities for guests of all ages and interests to enjoy. For instance, there will be recreational and educational stations including: NS Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Halifax Adventure Earth Centre, Maskwa Aquatic Centre programs, Halifax North Trails Assoc., Sierra Club – Wild Child Forest School, UNB - Forestry and Environmental Management, and Dalhousie University School for Resource and Environmental Studies.
The field day will be especially of interest to families with children. Rarely would kids have the opportunity to be exposed to so many natural resource based professions and possible future career choices, let alone the excellent educational opportunities that will be available.
Woodland owners will benefit greatly from the field day as there will be much information regarding the management of rural and urban forest land. Providing displays and information for this audience include: Assoc. for Sustainable Forestry, small scale forestry equipment demo, Canadian Urban Forest – HRM, Cape Breton private land partnership, various woodland owner organizations, Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, Nova Scotia Power, and various forest industry organizations.
There will be many environmental and wildlife themed stations including several by the Department of Natural Resources, Ecology Action Centre, Nova Scotia Environment - Protected Areas, NSE Conservation Officers, Halifax Water Comm., and the Halifax Wildlife Assoc.
A variety of meal selections will be available for purchase at the Maskwa Main Building. The event hours are from 10am to 3pm. Several parking lots will be used due to the large number of people that are expected. Look for signs as you approach Kearney Lake.