Mike Dembeck

Nova Scotia

  • Number of Completed Projects (2013-2014)
  • 4
  • Acres Conserved
  • 881
  • Land Value
  • $1,527,000
  • Stewardship Volunteers
  • 90
June Swift

Protecting a delicate yellow flower

If you visit Brier Island in Nova Scotia you may see a delicate plant growing at the edge of several bogs.

Small and fragile, it may not be well known, but the eastern mountain avens (EMA) is one of the most endangered plants in Canada. For the last few years, we’ve been working to help change this.

A member of the rose family, this yellow flower exists in only two isolated populations — along streams in the alpine meadows of the White Mountains in New Hampshire and in the coastal peat lands of Brier Island and Digby Neck, Nova Scotia. The Canadian population of EMA represents a quarter to a third of the global population. Roughly a third of the Canadian population can be found on NCC’s property on Brier Island in southwest Nova Scotia.

This year, we launched a three-year Habitat Stewardship Program project to examine how we can restore a bog on Brier Island. The bog is slowly drying up due to a drainage ditch dug in the 1950s.

Other strategies to protect the EMA have included building trails with Conservation Volunteers to steer visitors away from its habitat, in addition to education and outreach initiatives.


Nova Scotia would be an island, without the Chignecto Isthmus. This narrow strip of land connects Nova Scotia to the rest of North America. NCC’s Moose Sex Project is working to secure habitat in this important region of the province.


Nova Scotians digging deep for nature

Nova Scotians of all ages played a big role in protecting the province’s natural places this year.

In June 2013, a group of 15 Conservation Volunteers travelled to the Pugwash River Estuary in Nova Scotia for the third annual Buckthorn Bash. The goal of the event was to protect the area’s native species from the invasive glossy buckthorn.

Then in July, we held our second annual Gaff Point hiking trail improvement event on Saturday. More than 20 volunteers helped upgrade the scenic footpath, which is a focal point for many visitors and locals.

Other events included a beach restoration at Johnstons Pond, monitoring water levels on Brier Island and surveying birds and waterfowl in Port Joli.

Conserving Electric City

The Long Tusket Lake area of Nova Scotia has a unique human history.

In the mid-1800s, the area was the site of the settlement of New France, or “Electric City” — so named because of the lighted streets and houses made possible by an in-stream water-based power plant.

To this area came the Stehelin family, which emigrated from France in 1892. Over the course of several years, the Stehelin family established a successful timber enterprise on the banks of Langford Lake, just south of the donated lands.

The 370-acre (150-hectare) property contains an old-growth forest, wetland suitable for waterfowl nesting and close to a kilometre of lakeshore. The towering stands of red spruce, balsam fir, yellow birch and red maple found here host uncommon and at-risk birds, including Canada warbler, chimney swift and nighthawk. Nova Scotia’s endangered mainland moose is occasionally seen in the region.

These lands build on a previous acquisition of 5,077 acres (2,055 hectares) of forest and wetland habitat in the immediate vicinity by NCC.