Sierra Club Blog Posts
One of the natural features of Shubie Park you see when you enter the parking lot by the Fairbanks Centre is a large grey stone outcrop. It is a combination of the quartzite and slate, which underlies much of Dartmouth and Halifax. These are metamorphic forms of sandstone and shale which were laid down when the land was covered by the sea. It is interesting, too, to observe not far from the outcrop several large granite boulders. Upon closer observation you will note there are a series of holes chisled into these stones. The chisling was done by the Canal workers who were living here during the late 1820s and who were working on the construction of the Canal. These boulders were conveniently deposited here during the last Ice Age which passed over this area some 10,000 years ago.... Read more »
It's summer and that means it’s time to get out and enjoy Canada’s majestic parks and wilderness areas!
When I was a kid, I used get up early on Saturday mornings, pack a lunch and head to the creek! That was my wilderness area where I forded rivers, climbed trees & scaled cliffs. You see I was an explorer, or maybe that day I was a soldier or some other heroic figure I saw on TV the night before. Down by the creek I was free and could be anything I wanted for a few hours every Saturday…until they built the golf course, that is.... Read more »
I enjoy roaming around Shubie Park in Dartmouth, particularly along the waterway which runs between Lake Micmac and Lake Charles. As I walk I often think about the Mi’Kmaq who carried their canoes through the woods, the present flow of water between the two lakes did not then exist. While I do not know for certain, there are a still a few trees in the Park which may have been there when the First Nations peoples were passing through. I find this a fascinating connection.... Read more »
As coordinator of the HRM Diverse program, I'm excited to announce that our expert of the month for July is Bernie Hart, volunteer heritage secretariat at the Fairbanks Centre in Dartmouth, NS. As the former chief education curator at the Nova Scotia Museum, Mr. Hart has a distinguished history as an educator in both schools and in the community. Volunteering as a researcher with the Fairbanks Centre, Mr. Hart is uniquely suited to sharing the history of the region. Together, we will take a journey through the history of the park starting with the last ice age through to the Mi'Kmaq inhabitants, and finally to European settlement and their drastic modification of the environment.
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In a sense, Point Pleasant Park was “established” in 1749, the year that Halifax was founded, when the Governor of the new town decided to not allow much development to occur at that place. More formally, however, the park was designated in 1866 as a place to be set aside for pleasurable walks and horse-borne strolls in a natural setting.
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When Canadians think about the natural world – the places where wild animals live in wild habitats – most of us consider regions far outside of our towns and cities. While it is true that the greatest and healthiest expanses of wilderness occur in remote places, it should also be recognized that there are great habitats embedded in urban areas, and that the Halifax Regional Municipality is especially well endowed in that regard.
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By Paul Beckwith
On March 23, 2013, I made the following prediction:
“For the record—I do not think that any sea ice will survive this summer. An event unprecedented in human history is today, this very moment, transpiring in the Arctic Ocean.
The cracks in the sea ice that I reported in my Sierra blog and elsewhere have spread. Worse news is at this very moment the entire sea ice sheet (or about 99 percent of it) covering the Arctic Ocean is on the move (clockwise), and the thin, weakened icecap has literally begun to tear apart.
This is abrupt climate change in real-time.
Welcome to the new HRM Diverse blog! To find out more about why we have a blog now, keep reading; I think you’ll like what’s coming. But first, a bit of background and the story HRM Diverse. To date, we have focused on field biodiversity surveys, a hands on approach to learning about the nature in and around our city. We have had a good deal of success, seeing many volunteers join us in Point Pleasant Park, Blue Mountain Birch Cove, and on Dalhousie University’s campus to study an area and learn about nature in the process. This project has been a tremendous learning experience for me as well with both naturalist skills and in creating engaging programs for the enjoyment of the public.
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By John Bennett
It’s that great Canadian time of year...beginning of the camping season. In the thousands, we head to the Great Outdoors hoping to catch a glimpse of nature and its critters!
For the endangered Jefferson Salamander and Western Sage Grouse, it’s just like any other day -- avoiding predators, finding enough food and hoping to survive. They can’t do any more than that, so their survival is up to us.
Are we willing to leave them a little room on the planet or must we take it all away? Sadly, that’s the question facing Canada’s 300 endangered and 400 threatened species. Every day is critical… every day they inch closer to extinction.
RELATED: (Video) Where endangered species go when they lose their home... Read more »
By Paul Beckwith (May 25, 2013)
As I write this blog in the aftermath of the massive tornado that passed through Oklahoma this week, I have multiple computer screens playing live feeds (like the one in Diagram 1). This mega-storm was generated as part of the massive cyclonic system that passed over the central U.S (from May 18th through May 20th). It spawned many storm systems and severe tornadoes.
In Oklahoma, it took less than 1 hour for a thunderstorm system to develop into a full-blown 3 km diameter tornado of the highest size/strength (EF5). As you know, this tornado caused total devastation along a swath greater than 30 km long and about 3 km wide in the southern part of the city. Two schools and a hospital were destroyed resulting in heavy loss of life.... Read more »