Clam Harbour Beach Provincial Park is near to the yet-to-be designated Owls Head Provincial Park, for which this work was created.
Follow the boardwalk out to the beach or walk the trail on the other side of Beach Road. While you take in all that Clam Harbour has to offer, peruse Emma’s nature guide.
Owl’s Head is a coastal headland on the Eastern Shore. In 2019 the provincial government made a secret deal to sell Owls Head Provincial Park to a private developer to build 3 golf courses and a housing development. The EAC, other environmental groups, and concerned citizens caught wind of the plan and have been working to prevent the dismantling of this precious coastal land, home to endangered species (like the Piping Plover) and ecosystems (like the Broom Crowberry ecosystem).
Finding Harmony, a Mi’Kmaw Perspective
Emma illustrates a nature guide to Owls Head Park.
Wetlands provide some of the most diverse ecosystems, Owls Head Park being one of them. Growing many species of plants, these areas are able to support a greater variety of animals and fish. Owls Head is home to many endangered birds (over 75 species), while the surrounding shoreline flourishes with important eelgrass beds. These beds are nearly impossible to reconstruct and provide protection and biodiversity, supporting a range of life from smaller crustaceans to larger fish.
The more biodiverse our planet is, the more resilient we are to climate change and illnesses. Lose of biodiversity has brought on a rise in zoonotic diseases, which have been passed from animals and insects to humans. Evidence supports that Covid- 19 is zoonotic… so by protecting and supporting conservation efforts, we benefit directly.
Gratitude for nature’s gifts helps us to connect with the Mi’kmaw ethical code of Netukulimk. This concept fosters harmony between all things by teaching us to achieve “adequate standards of community nutrition and economic well-being without jeopardizing the integrity, diversity, or productivity of our environment”(https://www.uinr.ca/programs/netukulimk/).
Take an in-depth look at the endangered birds of globally rare and extremely biodiverse ecosystems found in the park that are at risk of disappearing for the sake of golf courses. Discover the native plants and how these species have been used as medicine by Mi’kmaq ancestors.
Emma Gabriel started her exploration in visual art while doing a minor in studio art during her undergrad. Using her time to experiment with different media, she discovered a passion for getting lost in the process of creating. She became a TA for mentor Janette Fecteau and assisted with her Batik and Stained Glass courses (flat panel and lamp making).
This experience led her to volunteer for an international art outreach program in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She later became the Artistic Director of the NGO Art Relief International and learned the therapeutic benefits of art.
Since living in Halifax, she has been focusing on drawing as her medium, taking much inspiration from the natural world around her. Now she creates digital pen-and-ink-style illustrations that are detailed and technical. She aspires to a career as a tattooist.
The EAC has been fighting for the protection and preservation of our working forests, sometimes working with unlikely allies.
EAC's Wilderness Team worked together with representatives of the forestry industry through the Colin Stewart Forest Forum to secure government commitments to protect 12% of Nova Scotia's Crown land from industrial activity - at the time, the highest percentage in Canada outside of BC. Government was shocked to see environmental activists and forestry industry representatives aligned on protecting forest habitat at specific sites. The Colin Stewart Forest Forum resulted in almost 29,000 acres of land protected under legislation, and compensation for forestry companies that gave up lands forecasted to be harvested in favor of conservation.