Sunday, 28 October 2007

Statement of purpose

Nova Scotians are passionate about their province, with its unsurpassed beauty at every hand.

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight


Evangeline was written in 1847 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whose 200th birthday we celebrate in 2007. Millions have read these opening lines and in a way, they have defined Nova Scotia to the world. As if the first line needs improvement, Longfellow adds another ingredient:


Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.


People are less familiar with Longfellow’s next verse, lamenting the passing of a way of life:

This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?


Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers --
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the ocean.


Of course, the context is different, but the disappearance of the Nova Scotia remembered in Evangeline is real. The intimate quiet and beauty of nature is disappearing in favour of malls and cityscapes; global warming sends hurricanes far north; the welcome influx of new Canadians brings neighbours who want to learn our epic stories.

Cole Harbour Parks & Trails Association is determined to preserve a piece of iconic Nova Scotia for future generations. A group of like-minded and dedicated community members share this vision, and with the cooperation of all levels of government and business, and with sheer determination has fashioned the heritage park we now enjoy. Cole Harbour Heritage Park is a testament to what a small and dedicated group of volunteers can accomplish. Built by neighbours and community, using tax dollars and generous gifts, this is the people’s own creation. Stewardship of this park is a community responsibility that we can all work toward, to pass along to coming generations.

Standing on the drumlin and looking eastward across the salt marsh, one appreciates the natural beauty of our province. The rhythms of the tides and seasons; the echoes of the lives of first peoples, fishermen and farmers; the smell of the balsam and the mud flats, the hovering Osprey – all this and more will be here for our children's children.

Our corporate sponsors, contractor and suppliers, who work for less and have donated so much, clearly understand that strong communities are good for business.

In ten years, CHPTA has built twenty two and one half kilometers of multi use trails within Cole Harbour; reaching out as far as West Lawrencetown and in to Shearwater.

Thanks to their vision and perseverence, the four hundred acre parcel of land bounded by Bissett Road and the Cole Harbour Salt Marsh is a jewel in the necklace of Provincial Parks.

©2007 CHPTA