Cliffs of Fundy geopark could be approved by 2020
Project would attract international tourists to Fundy Shore
The Cliffs of Fundy global geopark is moving close to reality.
Speaking to members of the Amherst Rotary Club, Dr. John Calder said he expects the draft nomination application will be submitted to the Canadian National Committee for Geoparks next spring and could be sent to UNESCO later in 2019.
If successful, the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark could be approved in early 2020.
“This is a very exciting community-led project for Cumberland County as well as for Colchester,” said Calder, a senior geologist with Natural Resources and a member of the Canadian geopark committee. “This project has really taken off since the fall of 2015, when I first spoke to the Cumberland Geological Society that runs the Fundy Geological Museum.”
A global geopark is a designation that would attract international tourists wishing to explore the connections between globally significant geological sites, local communities, cultures and natural ecology.
There are presently two geoparks in Canada, including ones in Saint John, N.B. and northern Alberta. Another dozen or so are in various stages of submitting applications to UNESCO.
Calder said geoparks, such as the Cliffs of Fundy, are designed to promote geotourism and celebrate a region’s uniqueness. The parks have no legal framework and don’t require landuse restrictions – something he admitted has caused concern among some property owners along the bay.
He said there are a lot of people who don’t know what the shoreline offers and while many talk about the area’s potential as a mini-Cabot Trail, it’s still an unknown to many visitors to Nova Scotia.
“Along the Fundy Shore there’s a huge wealth of geological vistas and more,” he said.
Among the assets the area has are the stunning cliffs and tides of the Bay of Fundy, deep Mi’kmaq traditions as the Land of Glooscap, provincial parks and the geological museum, a thriving arts tradition and strong community support. There’s also lots of community expertise to draw upon.
Calder said the Municipality of Cumberland as well as Colchester County have given complete support to the project as has Cumberland-Colchester MP Bill Casey.
The group is also working to make infrastructure improves such as working on trails to places like Economy Falls in Colchester County and roads to areas such as Cape d’Or near Advocate Harbour.
It also wants to incorporate lookoffs so people can pull off the road and take photos of the scenery. Something else that’s very important to the area – and what tourists will be looking for – is improved Internet access.
Amherst Rotarian Paul Calder (left) and Sackville, N.B. Rotarian Pam Harrison talk to John Calder about the planned Cliffs of Fundy Geopark.