Tag Archives: Freshwater Brook

FHC to Centre Plan- “Protect the Common”

FHC Centre Plan Submission May 2016 emphasizes the importance of public open space. As HRM’s population grows we need to protect and expand access to green land and blue sky, not just on the Halifax Common but throughout the city.

Below’s a summary of FHC requests for how the 1994 Halifax Common Plan be respected.*
Continue reading

Working with Nature, a Common Cause

Map of Halifax by Captain Charles Blaskowitz in 1784

Halifax Map by Captain Charles Blaskowitz in 1784

How can understanding former uses and natural features of the Halifax Common help us deal with contemporary concerns and future challenges?

To learn more come & hear guest speaker Kevin Hooper Tuesday April 12, 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm
Room 301, Halifax Central Library, Spring Garden Road
A refreshments break at 8:45 pm will be followed by FHC AGM at ~ 8 pm.

Details: Kevin Hooper investigates the Halifax Common’s social and environmental history and makes the case for reintroducing functioning wetland ecosystems to deal with the challenges facing conventional stormwater management.
Among other topics this presentation will detail; the near complete loss of historical watercourses on the Halifax Peninsula; the evolution of the Halifax Common from 1749-2016; the critical role of wetlands in nature; and, the innovative ways that engineered wetlands are being applied for the purposes of sustainable stormwater management.

Bio: Kevin Hooper, B.A., M.U.R.P., originally from Moncton, N.B.,  has lived and worked in Halifax since 2006.  Following an undergraduate degree in the social sciences Kevin did a Masters in Urban and Rural Planning at Dalhousie University with a focus on environmental conservation, social equity, and community design.  He has contributed as a research assistant on several projects relating to climate change adaptation for small communities and currently works as a planning consultant.
He is the father of three young children and the very lucky partner of the most wonderful woman in the world.

 

 

CBC Radio Interview- Common’s Death by a Thousand Cuts

People walk up Citadel Hill through some thick fog on Thursday in Halifax-photo by Jeff Harper, Metro News

People walk up Citadel Hill through some thick fog on Thursday in Halifax-photo by Jeff Harper, Metro News

On the eve of the Halifax Common’s 252 anniversary CBC Mainstreet’s Stephanie Domet interviews Peggy Cameron.  The conversation outlines the many decisions that the city is making in advance of an integrated master plan for the Halifax Common.

There are no rules. Individual decisions outside of a plan are having a cumulative impact and are diminishing the Common.  These also preclude the outcome of any planning process related to the now promised Halifax Common Master Plan.

Concerned about what Common will be left for posterity?  Or that the Mayor and Council have no vision for the Common?
Email the Mayor and Council at:  clerks@halifax.ca.

(begins at 4:10)

Jane’s Walk – Freshwater Brook, Halifax Common – Sunday May 3, 11am

Freshwater Brook as commemorated by Friends of Halifax Common for Earth Day 2011

The path of Freshwater Brook as commemorated by Friends of Halifax Common for Earth Day 2011

Did you know that Halifax has its own lost river system? Join Jane’s Walk guide, Ben Wedge on the North Common to explore Halifax’s river system and its influence on development patterns in a growing garrison town. After centuries of development burying our beautiful urban streams, cities are rediscovering them and starting to bring them back.  Inspired in part by the documentary “Lost Rivers” Halifax Council is debating daylighting Dartmouth’s Sawmill River.  
Here is a nice facebook page and previous posts on Freshwater Brook can be found here…This post about HRM’s 2006 daylighting policy for both Sawmill River and Freshwater Brook.  This post includes links to excellent essays by Matt Neviille and Sam Austin. Continue reading

Letter to Herald- Will Halifax City Council See The Wisdom of Daylighting River?

Example of a landscaped raingarden to absorb stormwater and create habitat.

Example of a landscaped raingarden to absorb stormwater and create habitat.

Paul Schneiderheit’s story highlights the benefits of daylighting streams. Jan 6, 2015- Chronicle Herald – Schneiderheit One omission is that HRM’s 2006 daylighting policy specifies two water courses: Dartmouth’s Sawmill River and the Halifax Common’s Freshwater Brook.

We’re generally unaware that the Halifax Common as the watershed for the peninsula was a rich and diverse ecosystem of plants, trees, birds, fish, frogs-all manner of critters and beasties.  Ruth Whitehead Holmes’ The’ Old Man Told Us, Excerpts from Micmac History, 1500-1950 “ recounts histories of Mi’kmaq hunting beaver, Black Duck and moose near Black Duck Pond, later Egg Pond and now the skatepark. Continue reading

Freshwater Brook & Sawmill River

1917 Halifax Map taken from an article by Matthew Neville.  see: http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2010/01/28/representing-halifax-exploring-the-potential-of-the-city-through-mapping/

1917 Halifax Map taken from an article by Matthew Neville. see: http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2010/01/28/representing-halifax-exploring-the-potential-of-the-city-through-mapping/

What do these two watercourses, Freshwater Brook and Sawmill River, have in common you might ask?  Well, for now, they are both underground.

Freshwater Brook drains the Halifax Common watershed into Halifax Harbour and was piped underground around 1878. See Matt Neville’s detailed essay: Representing Halifax, Exploring the Potential of the City through Mapping
and Freshwater Brook Facebook.  Sawmill River was part of the Shubie Canal system and runs between Dartmouth’s Sullivan’s Pond into the Halifax Harbour and was piped underground in the 1970s for flood-control. Continue reading