SHELBURNE COUNTY, N.S. – Rare Beauty, Community Sweetheart, Migration Hot Spot and Sound of Silence are the nicknames given to the four wetlands in Nova Scotia that are being pegged as Treasured Wetlands under a new program being officially launched by Ducks Unlimited Canada in partnership with the provincial Department of Natural Resources.
The Swaine’s Road Bog in Shelburne County, home to the rare thread-leaved sundew plant, the Annapolis Royal Marsh, the Cole Harbour Salt Water Marsh and the Black River Bog in Cape Breton are the wetlands identified for the Treasured Wetlands of Nova Scotia program. “The idea is to encourage and inspire Nova Scotians to get outside and explore these wetlands,” said Chelsea Murray, communication specialist for Ducks Unlimited Canada in Atlantic Region, in an interview.
The locations of the wetlands were slowly revealed leading up to the official July 21 launch during Duck Day at the Ducks Unlimited Interpretive Centre at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park. A presentation about the program was made during the open house event, and treasure maps were handed out with information on the wetlands, how to get to the trail heads, and the GPS coordinates to get to the Ducks Unlimited Post at the wetland sites that is like no other.
Besides an interpretive sign, the posts are “made so you can put a phone on a bracket, so everyone can put their phone in the same spot so as people are visiting, they take the same picture over and over again and share it on social media and that way we can track what the wetland looks like over time,” said Murray.
“We will be collecting photos though our social media accounts and will be putting them into photo books each year of the four wetlands or however many in the future there are,” she said, adding the collection will be kept at the interpretive center in Shubenacadie. The posts were expected to be installed this week.
Murray said throughout the process, community groups and interested individuals have been involved.
“We really tried to connect with community groups in each of the host communities where the wetlands are located,” she said, adding throughout the summer and fall there will be community groups putting on special events to launch the program in their areas.
In Shelburne County, Reg and Ruth Newell will be leading a nature interpretive walk of Swaine’s Bog on Sunday July 29 starting at 1 p.m. The walk begins at the trail head on Highway 103 near Clement’s Pond. Ample parking is available on the alternate side of the highway.
“They will be taking people out to talk about the thread leaved sundew,” said Murray. “Hopefully they will spot one on the trail. They are really important plants and super rare, only existing in Shelburne County” in Canada. For this reason, the Swaine’s Road Bog has been named Rare Beauty.
The Annapolis Royal Marsh is the wetland nicknamed Community Sweetheart. “It really is a wetland the community has embraced,” said Murray, often used for field trips by local schools. “One of the stories we like to feature is a class went out to do a program and ended up seeing a dragonfly hatch during their field trip. It was exciting for them.
The Cole Harbour Salt Marsh is the Migration Hot Spot. “In Cole Harbour we’re focusing on migratory birds,” said Murray. The wetland “is really important for different species seeking shelter during storms or stopover on migration.”
The Black River Bog in Cape Breton “is a really quiet, beautiful wetland” that provides “a really serene experience. That one is the Sound of Silence.”
The Treasured Wetlands of Nova Scotia Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/twnovascotia/