Nature Trust Conservation Awards 2007
Mayor Robert Stead and the Town of Wolfville
Recipient, Nova Scotia Nature Trust, Nature Conservation Award 2007
Mayor Robert Stead and the Town of Wolfville were honoured with the Nature Trust’s Annual Conservation Award for 2007 in recognition of their vision, leadership and inspiration in breaking new ground in Canadian land conservation. The recently signed conservation easement to protect the 605 acre Wolfville Watershed Nature Preserve set an exciting Canadian precedent for conservation. It is the first conservation easement in Canadian history to protect Municipally-owned lands through permanent legal protection by a non-government land trust.
The Nature Trust presents the Award annually to an individual, organization, or business that has demonstrated a dedication to private land conservation in Nova Scotia.
The seed for the project was planted a number of years ago through a Nature Trust outreach program targeting owners of the highest priority old-growth forest lands in the province, including the Town of Wolfville. The idea germinated through the vision and perseverance of Mayor Robert Stead, and was brought to fruition through two years of pioneering conservation effort led by Mayor Stead, the Wolfville Town Council and the Nature Trust.
According to Mayor Stead, “The Town of Wolfville is thrilled to once again be leading the way in Municipal stewardship. This easement will ensure that people will always be able to wander the meandering woodland trails of the Wolfville Watershed Nature Preserve, to learn from, and to be inspired by its pristine and undisturbed natural beauty.”
This is the latest addition in a series of firsts for the Town of Wolfville; in April 2007, Wolfville became Canada’s first Fair Trade Town. In addition, Wolfville was the first municipality in Nova Scotia to be smoke-free in indoor public places, as well as the first municipality in the Maritimes to join the Safe Communities Foundation of Canada.
The Wolfville Watershed Nature Preserve is a beautiful 605 acre parcel of land on the South Mountain, Gaspereau Valley, in the heart of the Annapolis Valley. It is one of the very last natural woodlands of its size anywhere in the highly developed and agricultural valley. The site is home to a rich diversity of habitats and many exceptional natural features, including undisturbed wetlands, rare orchids, diverse wildlife and steep-sided ravines. In addition, the property supports old-growth hemlock forests, which are rare in Nova Scotia—a province with less than 0.01% of its forests being old growth.