The province today, May 13, officially thanked the family who donated land to create Harrison Woods Nature Reserve in Cumberland County.
The 2015 land gift, made by Hope Harrison and her nephew, Terry Harrison, increased the size of a planned nature reserve by nearly two-thirds to 94 hectares. Originally identified as the Flat Iron Nature Reserve the name was changed to Harrison Woods.
“I thank Hope Harrison and Terry Harrison for this beautiful and memorable contribution to our protected areas,” said Environment Minister Margaret Miller during a gathering near the Harrison farm. “It is important to acknowledge the efforts and generosity of private land owners who choose to help protect our unique and important natural areas for all of us to experience.”
Harrison Woods Nature Reserve is an agricultural and managed woodlot area, a type that is rare in the province’s protected areas. It is a remnant patch of mature, mixed forest with older red spruce, yellow birch, white ash and other hardwoods.
The land had been in the family for four generations and was linked to the farm of Mrs. Harrison and her late husband, Donald. The Harrisons protected it from clear cutting.
The donation was made by Mrs. Harrison in memory of her husband, and by Mr. Harrison in memory of his father, Alastair.
“This donation of forest land is the realization of the vision of two generations of Harrisons, Donald and his nephew Terry, honouring their ancestors and descendants,” Mrs. Harrison said.
“For most Nova Scotians, our land is in our hearts and souls and our very fibre,” said Ms. Miller. “That’s especially so for those of us who have lived off the land.”
The province recently designated more than 100 new protected areas as wilderness areas or nature reserves, bringing the amount of protected land in Nova Scotia to 12.26 per cent of Nova Scotia’s landmass. That surpasses the province’s goal under the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act to protect at least 12 per cent by 2015.
Sites to be protected were identified through the province’s parks and protected areas plan after consulting with hundreds of individuals, municipalities, First Nations people, community groups, industry, and non-government organizations.
Learn more at www.novascotia.ca/parksandprotectedareas/plan/progress .