2021 Greener Greenspace Profile
Petite Riviere Community Park
Located in the Lunenburg area in Nova Scotia, Petite Riviere Community Park is a park that blends into its surroundings yet adds culturally significant aspects to engage and honour the surrounding community.
Design and Process
Created by Helping Nature Heal Inc., a landscape and ecological restoration company, Petite Riviere Community Park is a shoreline public park built on a previously contaminated site. To contain the contaminants, the site was capped with clay. Plenty of coarse, woody debris was added to break down over time to fuel the mycelium in the soil food web. Organic fertilizer, created by Helping Nature Heal, was applied, which contains mycorrhizal fungi. The park was designed to absorb water and minimize flooding in the park. Berms with native vegetation direct water to reduce overland flow. A living shoreline was installed along the river bank to slow overland flow and protect the waters from runoff pollution.The birch river edge was extended into the park to allow the natural flow of the surrounding nature. Native trees were planted to improve air quality, provide shade and absorb water.
Two Black Ash trees were incorporated - a rare tree species but culturally significant to the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia. The native and heritage tree species were sourced from Helping Nature Heal’s nursery and other local nurseries. Overall, the park was designed to be self-sustainable. There are minimal areas to mow since much of the park is pathways and berms with flowers and shade trees.
The creation of the park was a true community collaboration. The founding partners were Helping Nature Heal Inc, the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, Covey Island Boatworks, the Petite Riviere Park Association and the Petite Riviere Winery. Many local industry partners and contractors donated or discounted materials and labour, and many community volunteers and Nova Scotia Community College students donated labour and time. To ensure ongoing stewardship of the park, Helping Nature Heal staff trained the park association in ecological land care practices and are available for ongoing consultation. The Park Association maintains the park and hosts many community events each year.
The public park contributes to the municipal Open Space Plan, and it also provides access to coastal waters, another priority of the regional government to provide new nature-based recreation opportunities in the greater Petite Riviere area. Momentum built by this project continues to inspire other projects in the area including Cape LaHave Island protection.
For more information, visit the Community Association's Facebook page.
Virtual tour of Petite Riviere Community Park
Presented by Rosmarie A Lohnes, BA CoEn.
Greener Greenspaces is a recognition program for sites from across Canada that exemplify greener greenspace stewardship. The aim of the program is to showcase examples of ecologically-focused land care as a means to inspire others and to further the movement across Canada.