News

Waterfront Development given Friends of McNabs Island Award

MEDIA RELEASE
The Friends of McNabs Island Society awarded Waterfront Development our ‘Special Friend of the Island’ award at our 26th Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday, April 13 at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on the Halifax Waterfront.
Waterfront Development staff accept the Friend of the Island award. From L-R: TJ Maguire, Adam Langley, Kelly Rose and Jennifer Angel. Photo Rochelle Owen.

(April 15, 2016) The Friends of McNabs Island Society awarded Waterfront Development our ‘Special Friend of the Island’ award at our 26th Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday, April 13 at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on the Halifax Waterfront.

Waterfront Development staff accepted the award - a framed print of Rochelle Owen’s photograph of the McNabs Island Osprey that calls the island home.

Over the past several years, the Friends have raised $500,000 to rebuild some trails, install a composting toilet and a visitor information kiosk. Then two years ago, Waterfront Development approached the Friends to see how the provincial crown corporation could help.

Through a partnership with the Friends of McNabs Island and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Waterfront Development invested in the development of several new park amenities.

“Our partnership with Friends of McNabs Island has accomplished great things. The most important of which is inspiring new explorers to visit the island -- a very special place in our harbour,” says Jennifer Angel, Acting CEO, Waterfront Development.

McNabs Island Wayfinding Trail Sign. Photo TJ Maguire.

New wayfinding trail signs that blend in well with the island’s natural environment and provide for enhanced, self-directed exploration, were designed by Sperry Design and installed by New Century Signs along the 18 kms of island trails, and two additional Clivus Multrum composting toilets were put in place for island visitors. To reduce congestion at Garrison Pier, the main access point to the island, Waterfront Development installed new floating docks for boaters.

“We recognize the forward thinking of Waterfront Development in helping make McNabs Island Provincial Park more welcoming for island visitors and very much appreciate their support,” says Cathy McCarthy of Friends of McNabs Island.

Friends of McNabs Island Society is a volunteer-driven, registered charity dedicated to preserving and protecting McNabs and Lawlor Island Provincial Park. Since 1990, the Friends of McNabs have improved the trails and park facilities, organized community beach cleanups and offered guided tours to island visitors – making McNabs Island a welcoming park for everyone.

McNabs Island beach shifting: coastal engineer

Halifax McNab's Island is being reshaped by nature. The province needs to find a way to protect beach. Steve Silva reports.
A Halifax coastal engineer says both the deterioration of the McNabs Island breakwater and rising sea levels will result in higher waves in McNabs Cove and, subsequently, shift Maugers Beach.

Steve Silva, Video Journalist. Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc:
http://globalnews.ca/news/2625424/mcnabs-island-beach-shifting-coastal-e...

Media release: McNabs Annual Meeting (pdf)

New Trail Signs

upgrades should make visiting easier
Visiting McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour got a little easier today, as the Friends of McNabs Island Society and the Waterfront Development Corp. unveiled $180,000 in new amenities.

Celebrate Friends of McNabs Island’s 25th Anniversary with an Island Picnic - July 18th

Picnickers can enjoy music, guided tours, beach walks, yoga, an outdoor bootcamp, music, and children’s activities including a scavenger hunt.
This year marks the Friends of McNabs Island Society’s 25th Anniversary. To celebrate, the Friends are hosting an Island Picnic on Canada’s Parks Day, Saturday, July 18th (Rain Date July 19).

“The McNabs Island Picnic has something for everyone,” says Cathy McCarthy, President of the Friends. “We have guided tours, beach walks, yoga, an outdoor bootcamp, music, and children’s activities including a scavenger hunt.”

To add to the day’s festivities, Celtic musicians Dave MacIssac and Louis Benoit will play for picnickers. And there is cool watermelon and tasty homemade cookies for everyone!

Sponsoring partner, Waterfront Development is working with Friends of McNabs Island on a number initiatives including events.

“Celebrating 25 years with the Friends of McNabs Island Society, and the community, is a wonderful way to bring more people to experience the island park,” says Colin MacLean, President and CEO, Waterfront Development.

The 25th anniversary picnic includes:  history tours to Fort McNab National Historic Site or midway king - Bill Lynch’s childhood home; nature tours exploring the island’s many diverse habitats; a beach stroll through the intertidal zone with Oceans NS guides; and a tour of the Victorian Gardens with horticulturalists.

To add to the variety of events, visitors are invited to practice yoga on the beach with Rio Halifax or take part in a boot camp with Crossfit Ironstone.  For those who want to paddle to the picnic, Our HRM Alliance is launching “Hike the Greenbelt” at our picnic by paddling over from Point Pleasant Park.

Visitors should pack a picnic lunch, bring plenty of water, wear comfortable footwear and dress for the weather. For those going on the inter-tidal walk, be prepared to get your feet wet.

Tickets are available via Ticket Atlantic, 1-877-451-1221 or at participating Atlantic Superstore ticket outlets http://www.ticketatlantic.com/en/home/events/mcnabsisland/info.aspx.

Cost is $15 (members of the Friends of McNabs & children under 16), $20 (adults non-members), babies under 2 are Free, but still need a ticket.

Departures are from Halifax with Murphy’s Cable Wharf, 1751 Lower Water Street, at  9:30 am with a return at 2:30 pm, or 11:30 am – 4:30 pm. Departure from Eastern Passage with A&M Sea Charters, 87 Government Wharf Road is 10:00 am with a return at 3:00 pm.

Come for a picnic and discover McNabs Island!

Thanks to our sponsors and partners - Waterfront Development,  the Old Triangle, Our HRM Alliance, Oceans NS, Rio Halifax, Crossfit Ironstone, Pete’s, Sobeys, Dave’s Market, and Atlantic Superstores.

Friends of McNabs Island Society is a volunteer-driven, registered charity dedicated to preserving and protecting McNabs and Lawlor Island Provincial Park. Since 1990, the Friends of McNabs have improved the trails and park facilities, organized community beach cleanups and offered guided tours to island visitors – making McNabs Island a welcoming park for everyone.

Trail Development Plan

April 17, 2014
McNabs Island Trail Development Plan to Enhance Visitors' Experience

HALIFAX - The province has recently completed an assessment of the trail system on McNabs Island, part of McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park, designating future trails to make the island more accessible and easier to navigate for outdoor enthusiasts. A senior planner with the Department of Natural Resources will outline the network of trails, existing and proposed, at the Friends of McNabs Island Society's annual general meeting on Wednesday, April 23.
Those interested in McNabs will get an overview of the envisioned island trails for recreation, education and tourism during a free presentation at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic at 7 p.m. (Photographer Rochelle Owen will preview her exhibition of images of the island, Nature Reconstructed: A Portrait of McNabs Island. Owen's pictorial exhibit "captures the journey to different areas of the island in all seasons.")

"The trail plan is meant to prioritize the long-term trail development of McNabs Island, identifying what trails are critical for the public's access and enjoyment of the island," says Brian Kinsman, senior park planner with DNR. Kinsman will be joined by Doug Oliver, a trails planner with DNR who has five years' experience working with the island.

Once the trail plan is implemented, visitors will have easier access to the island's trails that wind their way through history; for example, three forts, a former bottling plant and a one-time Victorian garden. Ultimately, about 18 kilometres of trails will allow for nature activities such as hiking, walking, jogging, camping and geocaching. The trails will interconnect much of the island's geography-5 kilometres long by 1.5 kilometres wide. The trail system will include roadways suitable for cycling, such as the four-kilometre-long Garrison Road corridor, as well as other pathways exclusively for pedestrians.
Kinsman has a background in environmental studies and resource management and has visited the island many times over 30 years while working for DNR. He says the trail plan will serve as a "go-forward document," giving a systematic and strategic approach to developing the earmarked trails.

"If groups such as the Friends bring money forward, we'll use the trail plan to evaluate requests," says Kinsman, adding the province has no specific timeline for developing individual trails but will do so when funds are available. "There's quite a maze of trails out there now and the Friends have had some success in acquiring trail development funds."

Says Friends' president Cathy McCarthy: "Over the last five years, the society has raised $500,000 to upgrade stretches of the existing trail corridors, install a composting toilet and a visitor kiosk. Making trails more accessible to visitors has been one part of the society's stewardship of the island for almost 25 years."

Constructing new trails or upgrading existing ones, Kinsman explains, costs about four to five times more than on the mainland as heavy equipment and raw material must be barged over and crews transported by boat.

To explore the historic and scenic landmarks of the island could certainly take a full day, he says. While Kinsman highlights the island's attractions, he also emphasizes that its minimum facilities make it necessary for visitors to be properly prepared with suitable footwear, an emergency cellphone plus food and water.

Still, despite limited amenities, Kinsman acknowledges the perennial draw of McNabs. "You've got almost 400,000 people in HRM within eyesight of McNabs Island. It's got huge potential. McNabs Island is always referred to as the 'green jewel' in the midst of Halifax Harbour."

The McNabs Island trail plan, which includes a consultant's report, a map and related content, will be available on the DNR website.

The Friends of McNabs Island Society is a volunteer, non-profit, registered charity, based in Halifax, dedicated to the preservation of McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park. The Society was incorporated in March of 1990 with the objective of promoting the islands as a Nature Park and Outdoor Classroom. The Society hosts events on McNabs Island such as picnics, nature and historical tours, and annual beach clean-ups. It also rebuilds and maintains the trails with co-operation from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.