The legacy of the Motherhouse lands is having a secondary ripple effect on the proposed Blue Mountain / Birch Cove Lakes Nature Park. The massive reserve has run into a severe roadblock in a new report issued by Judge Heather Robertson who was brought in to mediate between the City of Halifax and the private landowners who have yet to be bought out on the project.
Robertson has sided with the developers, the Annapolis Group and the Susie Lake Development outfit. That means private houses perched over the lakes, all in order for the developers to build adequate access for the rest of the public to get in to the park.
It’s another aspect of a legacy of public good that is drifting into private hands. Susie Lake was, for generations, a recreational area accessed by the old road the Sisters had made so that the water could be piped to a water tower. Once upon a time, when I was a teenager, you could literally walk up to the lake from many points in old Rockingham, whether it was Clayton Park, Bridgeview or Wedgewood.
Most of those trails are now gone. There are paths that go behind Bayer’s Lake Industrial and Retail Park, but anyone can see that the lake has been put in severe environmental risk by the horrifying clear-cut visible from almost any point in the park. It’s like some sort of post-apocalyptic wasteland, soon to be sacrificed on the altar of never-ending “development”.
While the expansion of Bayer’s Lake looms over one side of the proposed park, there is a real possibility that the plans of the Annapolis Group and Susie Lake Development will shrink the vision of the Blue Mountain/Birch Coves lake Park to a shadow of its former self, to the detriment of all Haligonians.Read more