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Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Human river walk” swims through Dartmouth

Ecology Action Centre celebrates the Sawmill River.

Posted By on Sun, Apr 19, 2015 at 1:33 AM

click to enlarge Rendering of a portion of the potential daylighted Sawmill River from the 2006 canal greenway report.
  • Rendering of a portion of the potential daylighted Sawmill River from the 2006 canal greenway report.

The Ecology Action Centre is hoping to make some waves today, as the environmental group asks residents of Dartmouth and Halifax to gather in blue attire and participate in a “Human River Walk” celebrating the historic Sawmill River.

“The Sawmill River has flowed in a culvert under Dartmouth streets since 1972, out of sight and out of mind...until now” said EAC water coordinator Jocelyne Rankin in a release. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring the river back to the surface, called daylighting, an initiative that is broadly supported by local residents, businesses and groups.”

The Sawmill River is the final connection in the Shubenacadie waterway. It was historically used as an important navigational route for Mi’kmaq, and more recently played an essential role in the operation of the Shubenacadie Canal. If the daylighting project is a success, the river will be home to eels, gaspereau and Atlantic salmon travelling between salt and freshwater environments.

Today’s river walk will celebrate the flow and the possible daylighting of the Sawmill River by re-enacting the gaspereau fish migration. “The visual impact of hundreds of fish puppets 'swimming' in a river of people dressed in myriad shades of blue will be an evocative reminder of the importance of this stream,” Rankin writes.  

The event takes place today, April 19 starting at 1pm at the vacant lot cornering Irishtown Road and Prince Albert Road. Walkers will migrate upstream along the greenway to meet at Sullivan’s Pond Park. Be sure to wear blue and dress for the weather if you’re planning on a “swim.”

Human River Walk
Sunday, April 19, 1pm
Vacant Lot on the corner of Irishtown Road and Prince Albert Road, Dartmouth
(902) 442-5046

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