Birch Cove Beach naturalization

Birch Cove Park and its freshwater shoreline along Lake Banook are favourite spots for residents looking to take part in recreation and exercise.

The park has previously served as an athletes' village during sporting events, but its steep terrain presented accessibility challenges. This change has created the opportunity to address local concerns about shoreline slumping and waterfowl droppings. 

This June, Halifax Regional Municipality will partner with Helping Nature Heal and the Ecology Action Centre to implement a pilot naturalization project at Birch Cove Beach. Some benefits of this work include: 

  • shoreline stabilization at Birch Cove Beach, preventing ongoing and future erosion
  • improved quality of the nearby waters of Lake Banook 
  • reduced build-up of waterfowl droppings on the swimming beach and surrounding area  
  • enriched local biodiversity  
  • provision of educational and skill-building opportunities to volunteers 

This project will support the municipality's commitment to increasing naturalization in parks and the development of the Lake Banook Coordination Plan. 


Naturalization Workshop 

This free three-day workshop follows Helping Nature Heal’s "Shore Up" program, which uses nature-based solutions to create healthier shorelines. Attendees will learn the hands-on, community-driven techniques that Helping Nature Heal has been using to restore shorelines in the Atlantic region for 20 years.

When: June 12-14, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.  

Where: Birch Cove Beach (Oakdale Crescent, Dartmouth) 

Participation in all three days of the workshop is strongly encouraged, but partial attendance can be accommodated.

What to bring:  

  • weather-appropriate clothing (including closed-toe shoes)
  • bug repellent
  • sunscreen 
  • lawn chair 
  • water bottle
  • reusable coffee mug 
  • gardening or work gloves
  • gardening tools (tools will also be provided) 
  • lunch (snacks will also be provided) 

Reserve a spot in advance by filling out the Shore Up Workshop at Birch Cove Beach registration form.

If you have questions about the Birch Cove Beach Naturalization Project, please contact Tracy Jessen at   

Naturalization Program and Lake Banook Coordination Plan 

The Birch Cove Beach Naturalization Project supports the municipality's commitment to naturalizing its parks. 

The municipality will launch a Shape Your City survey in June 2024 to gather feedback on the Coordination Plan, including proposed changes to Birch Cove Park. If you have questions about the Coordination Plan, contact Beth Bray at

Lakes and Rivers

The Halifax Regional Municipality is home to over 1,000 lakes, more than 20 rivers, innumerable streams, and 23 major coastal shorelines places for recreation, and fish and wildlife habitats. Through our Regional Plan, we've committed to study watersheds and natural watercourses before secondary planning takes place in an effort to maintain the health of water and meet body contact recreation standards in its lakes, waterways and coastal waters. 

LakeWatchers logo with tagline 'community-based lake monitoring'

How can I improve the health of lakes, rivers and watersheds?

Watersheds are interconnected. Every action that effects the land also has indirect effects on lakes, rivers, and the ocean waters they drain into. 

Simple individual actions can help preserve and improve the quality and health of these waters:

  • reduce and/or eliminate the use of household and commercial hazardous products
  • make use of Household Hazardous Waste Depots and avoid pouring used cleaners, paints, chemicals or other materials down your drains or into storm water systems such as gutters, ditches, storm sewers, or streams
  • pick up after your pet, and dispose of the waste in the garbage
  • limit your use of lawn fertilizers, or try alternatives such as compost

Invasive aquatic species

Local waterways are home to both native and non-native plants and animals. Non-native species whose introduction causes—or is likely to cause—harm to people, the environment, or the economy, are called invasive species.  The Municipality has a few invasive species on its radar

The Regional Watersheds Advisory Board

Halifax Regional Council appointed the Regional Watersheds Advisory Board in 2013. The board advises the Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee of Regional Council and conducts duties as may be assigned by Regional Council or the Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee.