Updated: November 9, 2023
The Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes (BMBCL) area is located on the western edge of the Halifax urban core and includes Acadian forest, wetlands, and a system of lakes and headwaters, offering wilderness hiking opportunities to many residents and visitors.
New Partnerships and Collaboration
In 2021, the Municipality signed a Statement of Collaboration with Parks Canada to consider the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes (BMBCL) area as a candidate National Urban Park under a new federal program. As part of the collaboration, the steps involved with achieving the National Urban Park designation process align with the municipality’s ongoing planning to support the establishment of the park.
In 2022, with funding support from Parks Canada, the municipality engaged Stantec Consulting Ltd. to complete background studies, and to carry out a public engagement program, as part of the pre-feasibility assessment process. This was done with the involvement of project partners including:
- Parks Canada
- Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change
- Nova Scotia Nature Trust
- Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia as represented by Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn (KMK) and by Sipekne’katik First Nation.
With the Report’s completion, Parks Canada announced on May 23, 2023 that the BMBCL candidate site has met the requirements of the Pre-Feasibility Phase of the national urban park process and can begin Planning Phase activities, including the development of a park establishment plan.
A copy of the pre-feasibility assessment study work completed by Stantec is available here.
Initiation of a Park Establishment Plan
This fall, in collaboration with Project Partners, the Municipality initiated work on a Park Establishment Plan. This next stage of planning effort builds on the pre-feasibility assessment work and will have a substantive role in assessing the Park's potential fit with the National Urban Park program.
The Park Establishment Plan’s focus is on land owned or administered by the Project Partners and will offer strategic guidance in managing nature-based recreational activities, public access, and protecting the proposed Park's ecological and cultural resources. The draft Plan is also expected to identify priority investment opportunities critical to the project's long-term success. Public engagement on a draft Plan will occur in early 2024.
For additional information on the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park project, please contact:
Parks & Recreation