Activities of Friends of McNabs Island Society
- The Friends of McNabs Island Society was incorporated in 1990 to promote
McNabs, Lawlor and Devils Islands as park lands and discourage industrial
uses of the Halifax Harbour islands.
- Since incorporation, the Friends of McNabs Island Society has organized
guided tours of McNabs Island for the general public, and school and youth
groups. Island events are promoted in cooperation with the Department
of Natural Resources Parks are for People program.
- Since 1991, the society, in cooperation with the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation's
Adopt a Beach Program, has organized semi-annual McNabs Island beach cleanups.
Hundreds of volunteers assist in the cleanup each year making it the largest
cleanup effort in Nova Scotia. Since 1991 we have organized 16 cleanups
and collected approximately 5000 bags of ocean debris.
- During the winter months, the Friends of McNabs Island Society organizes
public presentations on McNabs Island topics such as the island's natural,
military and cultural history, as well as eco-tourism and environmental
education proposals for the island.
- In 1993, the society successfully persuaded the Department of National
Defence to reopen Garrison Pier, the only public access point to the island,
which had been fenced off in 1992.
- Members of the society have made presentations about the island to university
and public school classes, youth and community groups; addressed government
policy reviews and panels and met with provincial, municipal and federal
politicians to address the issue of McNabs and Lawlor Island Parks.
- The society has set up information displays at the Halifax International
Boat Show and at the Atlantic Earth Festival.
- The society produces a quarterly newsletter The Rucksack, containing
information about the island which is distributed to members, interested
groups and libraries.
- In 1995, and revised in 1997, the society produced an island brochure
and map, McNabs Island, Park-in-the-Making which is distributed to island
visitors, school and youth groups.
- In 1995, the society published a best selling guide book entitled Discover
McNabs Island which features chapters on the island's military and cultural
history, vegetation, birds and wildlife, shipwrecks, ghost stories, and
includes trail maps of the island and suggested activities for island
- Since 1994, the society has had a trail maintenance and waste management
agreement with the Department of Natural Resources, which involves removal
of windfalls and underbrush from island trails, posting trail signs, building
foot bridges over sensitive stream areas, installing and maintaining outhouses,
and garbage and recyclable containers.
- In 1996, the trail and waste management agreement was extended to federal
Parks Canada lands on McNabs Island and includes the maintenance of the
McNabs family cemetery. This commitment was extended in 1997 to include
mowing the grass at Forts McNab and Ives and painting the fence at Fort
- The society has submitted a proposal to Natural Resources to convert
the former McNabs Island Teahouse into an information centre that can
be used by our society, school and youth groups, and other island visitors.
The centre will be the focal point for island activities, housing island
artifacts, and providing information to visitors.
- The society has an active Outdoor Education Committee that has hosted
workshops and meeting with other educators committed to promoting outdoor
education on McNabs Island. Educational materials are available for teachers
and other youth leaders who bring young people to the island.
- The society has been successful in attracting funding for our McNabs
Island projects from our membership, as well as from RCMP Veterans Association's
Gladys Conrad Legacy Fund, Mountain Equipment Coop, Shell Environmental
Fund, and Environment Canada's Partners Fund. Many services and supplies
have been donated by local businesses.