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Citizens’ group forming to help create Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park

The Government of Canada has provided the Halifax Regional Municipality with $860,000 to purchase 135 hectares of urban wilderness. File/ Global News

Halifax residents, including two former provincial MLAs, are forming a citizens’ group to help in the creation of the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park.

The regional park was a promise in the municipality’s 2006 regional plan, and more than 1,700 hectares of land have now been legally protected by the province.

READ MORE: Halifax acquires first parcel of land to create Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park

Former MLAs Diana Whalen and Mary Ann McGrath will be at a meeting on Thursday, along with fellow advocates for the park, the Ecology Action Centre, the Halifax North West Trails Association and the Halifax Field Naturalists.

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The public is invited to join the group and their efforts.

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“In Nova Scotia and elsewhere, park projects are enhanced by the participation of community groups. A ‘Friends of Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes’ group will be able to work with key stakeholders and governments as they proceed with the creation of this new regional park,” Whalen said in a news release.

In January, the municipality announced it had purchased an 80-hectares parcel of land to help form part of the regional park.

READ: Mayor Savage weighs in on protecting Birch Cove Blue Mountain area

At the time, the municipality said it planned to consult with the province and the public on how the land would be used and that public consultation would begin in the spring.