Wednesday, 1 November 2017

News from the Park - always busy




Bissett trail is now open - Halifax Water commission was fixing a water main break but had everything cleaned up and back in order the same day.

Heavy construction work will occur on the Salt Marsh Trail in mid-November as we restore another section to a better protected trail. The trail will be closed from the Canada Goose bridge to the West Lawrencetown Road during the working day due to the presence of heavy equipment. Signs and barriers will be in place. For your own safety and the safety of the workers, CHPTA asks everyone to obey the signage.

Annual maintenance of the trail surface on the Salt Marsh Trail is being conducted on the section from Bissett Road to the Canada Goose Bridge and from Flying Point to landfall on the eastern part of the trail across the causeway. The work involves grading the surface, infilling areas where the crusher dust surface is too thin or absent with attendant raking and smoothing out. There may be some soft areas as the crusher dust settles into place. The grading has been completed and we have noted several areas where the larger underlying rocks are making for a rougher but passable surface. It is these rocky areas that will get further treatment.

Most visitors to the Park are familiar with the two new utility buildings at the main entrance. The Facility building (closest to the trails) will be used for meetings, as an interpretation centre and an event venue. Holly Woodill has taken on the project of creating and setting up interpretative material in the facility building that will show the rich natural and social history of the Park and the surrounding areas.  The other building houses the maintenance workshop and storage area. This welcome addition to the Park Infrastructure has allowed us to consolidate all our tools, equipment and materials in one place. Several of our members who have been storing CHPTA material since the tragic fire that destroyed the Red Barn, are quite happy to get their garages, basements and storage sheds back for their own use.

We have just completed a preliminary engineering inspection of all the bridges on the Shearwater Flyer. All the bridges can accept the regular trail traffic, pedestrians and ATVs but only one (Desaid Lake bridge) can take small maintenance trucks. Some of these bridges date back more than a century so it is not surprising that they will need a little (a lot) of TLC to bring them up to speed. CHPTA is awaiting the final engineering report but is already planning to restore bridges starting next spring and summer.

Many trail users have noted and complained about the increasing amount of damage on the Flyer caused by renegade ATV traffic going off and coming on to the Flyer at unauthorized points. The entry and exit point is located at the parking lot at the Caldwell/Hines Road intersection. It has been distressing to see this irresponsible behaviour causing damage in adjoining wetlands, marshes and watercourses. Anyone seeing illegal activity - basically any ATV going on or off the Flyer at any place other than the entry/exit point, is asked to call 311 or Halifax Police at 902-490-5020. In addition (or instead), please drop us a note (email or phone). CHPTA is also concerned that our neighbours' lands are being torn up by ATVs using the Flyer. Next year, a major part of our maintenance work will concentrate on repairing this damage and implementing measures to reduce this vandalism. Any ideas on how to accomplish this task will be welcomed.

Due to a change in telephone plans and lack of use, the facsimile (Fax) number for CHPTA will cease operation effective 31 October 2017. The voice telephone number (including voice mail) remains 902-435-3952 and the email address remains coleharbourparksandtrails@gmail.com