Bonshaw Hills committee honored by planners group
The committee members who helped create the new Bonshaw Hills Provincial Park have been recognized by Prince Edward Island Association of Planners.
In conjunction with today’s World Town Planning Day, the association presented the Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Subcommittee with its 2017 Murray Pinchuk Community Builder Award. Subcommittee co-chairs Brian Thompson and Megan Harris accepted the award for the committee’s efforts to establish the popular provincial park and for developing a management plan for the park properties.
“The Prince Edward Island Association of Planners would like to recognize all the deserving groups nominated this year for their work to make our province’s built and natural environments better for their communities,” said Alex Forbes, president of the PEI Association of Planners. “This year, we recognize the Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Subcommittee for their work to create a park that will be enjoyed by Island families for generations to come.”
The Murray Pinchuk Community Builder Award recognizes the highest standard of community building excellence in the public and private realms. This may include excellence in lifelong service, innovative or accessible site design, promoting land use planning in their community, or any other exemplary achievement enhancing the interaction between people and their environment.
“We are so honoured to receive this recognition. The subcommittee members invested much of themselves in creating the plan for this park,” said Megan Harris, co-chair of the Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Subcommittee. “We tried to stay true to the vision of balancing outdoor active living and nature education with the ecological health of a beautiful Island forest landscape. We hope this award is a sign that perhaps we were successful in achieving that goal.”
Since December 2012, the 16 members of the Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Committee (BHPLC), representing various government and non-government organizations, have provided guidance on the development and protection of valuable public lands in the Bonshaw area.
In October, 2013 the BHPLC presented a report to Government, "Recommendations for the Conservation of Public Lands, Bonshaw - New Haven". This report outlined 20 recommendations to government on the long-term protection and management of environmentally sensitive lands in the Bonshaw Hills.
A subcommittee has been working together since January 2014 to implement many of the recommendations contained within the report, including the creation of a 600-acre, four-season park that provides linkages between Strathgartney and Bonshaw.
- Through a partnership with CyclingPEI, more than 26 kilometres of multi-use trail has been constructed within the park, and a natural playground has also been constructed.
- As recommended by the committee, the parkland has been protected through the Natural Areas Protection Act (NAPA).
Why the committee was selected for the award:
The project was selected for the award in recognition of the breadth and scope of the management plan, which outlined a range of broad values and goals, as well as the quality of the implementation process. The management plan provides an effective example of how a multi-objective exercise can be undertaken and implemented, and the popularity of the park speaks to the balance achieved in providing active recreation opportunities for the community at large while allowing for the protection of a large natural area.