The proposed Sandy Lake-Sackville River Regional Park sits between the Sackville River and Hammonds Plains Road. In 1971 the area was recognized as a rich and unique ecosystem in a well-placed location for nature education and recreation. It was selected along with 6 other areas to be the cities’ “jewels in the crown” regional parks. Although the municipalities have acquired 1,000 acres of park land over the 5 decades, amalgamation and other largely political factors caused the area to fall away from awareness. One thousand important acres remain unprotected.
The Green Network Plan (GNP) identifies this as an important watershed that protects the Sackville River, which is a major watershed and natural corridor in the GNP. It is an area with important wildlife corridors and stepping stones to the Chebucto Peninsula. Yet, over 600 acres of the essential watershed are next in line for housing development.
The area hosts an astounding variety of wildlife partly because of the variation in habitat: a substantial river, a deep cold lake, a marsh lake and a boreal lake sit close together. It has seagoing Atlantic salmon, endangered mainland moose, ovenbirds that only nest in deep forest, loons, and a healthy snapping turtle population. All around are drumlins with rich soil that supports a remarkable Acadian forest with significant old growth stands and pit-and-mound topography.
The city recently informed the developers that there is no need for more housing in the area for 15 years. The Sackville Rivers Association and the Sandy Lake Conservation Association have established a coalition of 23+ groups to protect those remaining 1,000 acres within a 2,000 acre regional park soon. The developers are willing to trade for other lands if the city, or someone, will step up.
Sandy Lake – Sackville River Regional Park Coalition website: www.sandylakecoalition.ca
Sandy Lake Conservation Association (SLCA) Website: www.sandylake.org
Sandy Lake and environs website: www.sandylakebedford.ca
Dr. Patriquin’s talk for SRA : http://goo.gl/ipYCR2