POINT PLEASANT PARK 1
Point Pleasant Park
Point pleasant Park can be referred as an urban parkthat is about 75 hectares in the city of Halifax. As it can be seenfrom the map, it is found between the North West Arm and the HalifaxHarbor. The park is mainly forested although it has roads that arefound throughout it. On the same note, the park has grassy areas thatare found along the seaside especially on the sea side of the park.Talking a little about the park history, one can say that it wasinitially under the management of the military where it was clearedin order to create the lines of fire needed in military practice(Halifax Regional Municipality, 2012). This has however changed to anextent that it has since been reforested with some of the nativespecies of trees and other types of vegetation. In terms ofmanagement, the park can be said to be fully owned by Canada and hasbeen leased to the Pont Park commission. In terms of usage, the parkis highly used by people, which has made the health of the park tobecome a point of concern to many across the country (Roberston,1990). With its long history, the park has become of the importantecosystem in the region not only to the residents, but also to theanimals and the municipal management in terms of economic benefit.
With reference to how it’s regarded in the region, the park is anurban park that is about 75 hectares found in the city of Halifax. Itis found between the North West Arm and the Halifax Harbor. It isbordered by residential areas especially in the northern side. Wallsare built in order to separate the park from the residential areas.The park is surrounded by a shoreline with the exception of thenorthern boundary. The park shoreline is largely rocky with theexception of the Black Rock Beach. It only has a small intertidalarea. This means that the shoreline is similar to the one that isfound across the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia. The expectation isthat the fauna and flora of the shoreline is similar to the one foundalong the Atlantic Coast (Castle, 1999).
Map1. The park Geology (Castle, 1999)
The geology of the park is directly related to that of the city ofHalifax. According to research that has been conducted on the park,it has been built on several rock types that date more than 600million in the history of the earth. The geology of the park hascontributed largely to the topography of the area in that moreresistant granites are found on the higher grounds to the West andSouth. On the other hand, erosion along various faults in the parkhas created depressions that range from the Halifax Harbor, BedfordBasin, as well as, the Northwest Arm. The shape of the coastline hasalso been influenced by the geology and the rocks with slateweathering faster as compared to granite (Peckham, Duinker &Ordóñez, 2013).
Ecosystem services and reason for choice by students
The park has been for a long time been used to provide variousecosystem services not only to people living in the area but also topeople across Canada. It is the reason as to why the country canafford to have such a large park in the midst of a city. There is alot that people can see and enjoy within the park once they visit it(Castle, 1999). There is a long chain of services that can be enjoyedin the park. These entails services under cultural category services(the park offers recreational, physical and mental health services,tourism, and as an inspirationfor culture, art and design). Secondly, the parkoffers habitat services, as it’s a habitat for animals as itprovides them with food and shelter in addition, it also providesgenetic diversity maintenance services. Other ecosystem servicesprovided by the park includes, regulating services, and provisionservices. The main factor behind the choice of this ecosystem is itsrich history as well as its diverse services to the people, theecosystem itself and to the government or management in charge.Moreover, the ecosystem provides with ample attractive sites with thebeach part of the park being a good place to spend leisure time(Alberti & Marzluff, 2004).
One of the major services that are offered by the park is theconservation of vegetation types. People have the option of seeingthe native trees that have become close to extinct as they have beenlargely used in the reforestation of the park. According to theguides found on the ground, the northwestern corner of the park hasmore hardwoods than any other part of the park. The hard wood speciesthat are found in this area are the red oak, red maple and whitebirch. The other parts have been covered by the softwood species thatinclude the white pine and the red spruce. People who are fond ofnature appreciation use the park to have a look at the various typesof vegetation that is found in the park. This is because the park haspreserved the numerous types of vegetation that range from thehardwoods to the softwoods. The red spruce is one of the mostabundant types of vegetation followed by the red maple and whitepine. One of the most unique features of the park is the idea thatwhen Hurricane Juan strikes, there is always a vegetation change as aresult of the disturbance created by the hurricane. Due toreforestation processes, the park has ensured that most of the landhas been covered by trees or grass (Peckham, Duinker & Ordóñez,2013).
The other service that is offered by the park is wildlifeconservation. Despite the lack of a variety of wild animals, the parkhas the red squirrel and some unique mice. My visit to the parkrevealed that on a sunny warm day, the number of pet dogs increasedas more people could be seen everywhere across the park. Birds areanother thing spectacle that pulls people towards the park. The largenumber of trees in the park has increased the number of birdshabiting the area. These include the crow, raven, white-breastednuthatch, the red-tailed hawk and the blue jay (Roberston, 1990).There are also a variety of seashore birds including the herringgulls, black cormorants and the black-back gulls.
One permanent pond could be seen where people were able to see theblack ducks and the water snails. One could be able to compare marinevegetation and the pond vegetation with ease. A walk on the beachrevealed that intertidal and sub tidal algae were common in the areapreferably from the remains of the activities of gulls, as well asother sea birds (Lapierre, 2012).
Control of Storm Runoff
One of the things that one could not fail noticing is the fact thatthe city of Halifax has maintained the park in its natural state.This is because of the fact the soil types that are found within thepark are preserved by preventing erosion to a great extent. One ofthe ways that the soil erosion is prevented is through making surethat surface runoff from rain, as well as, snow melt is able tofollow the topography of the park. This is ensured as a result of theuse of culverts and ditches in order to control drainage. The highproblem areas such as the steep ones are well serviced in order toensure that the soil is preserved. Despite the numerous strides thathave been taken in order to make sure that erosion is minimized,erosion is still evident in the park (Lapierre, 2012).
Uses of the park by residents
The park has been found useful by residents in various ways. Halifaxbeing a city, the park provides one of the areas that people canvisit with their family in order to break the monotony of staying inthe city. The various types of vegetation have ensured that the parkcan be used for various reasons by the people in the city. One of theuses is hiking where people can move across the forest in varioussections of the park as a recreational activity. This gives them theopportunity to appreciate nature as it changes from the low forestand grass from the shoreline to the thick hardwood forests on theupper part of the park. The guides found in the park offer guidanceand explanations of the various types of trees and other vegetationthat are found in the park (North & Waldheim, 2013).
The park is in use for many recreational activities by the residentsof city and the county at large. These include walking in the park asone enjoys the cool breeze produced by the trees. Biking is also anactivity that can be done with ease when it comes to the park. Thisis because of the fact that it has well maintained roads that can beused for this practice (Bolund & Hunhammar, 1999). Cross countryis also an activity done by most of the residents who visit the parkfor their own recreational activities.
The main reason as to why the park is popular among the cityresidents is the fact that it has guides who can offer the necessaryguidance to those who need it in the park. On the same note, the parkhas cell phone services that make sure that one can still be tracesin case he or she loses direction. There are also kilometer markersthat mark the distance that one has moved from his or her originallocation. Washrooms, picnic shelters, benches, parking lots andpicnic tables also make the park attractive to the residents(Lapierre, 2012).
Photo 1. Am photo showingpeople running across the park in a competitive race (Google Images,2015)
Photo 2. A woman walks inthe park with her dog, during her leisure time (Google Images, 2015)
Improving Ecosystem Goods and Services
Improving the Park
The park has been very helpful to the people of Halifax city to agreat extent. Despite this, there is still a lot that can be done inorder to make sure that the services are improved. One of the thingsthat should be done is the creation of larger parking lots in orderto cater for the large number of people visiting the area. One couldnotice that on a sunny day, the people visiting the area increased toa great extent and parking became a problem. The other thing thatshould be done is developmental considerations in the park in orderto make sure that new problems are not created. As earlier stated,one could notice that soil erosion was one of the most serious thingsthat park was dealing with. The existing drainage ways needsimprovement in order to make sure that the land is not reduced in anyway. This will also ensure that soil is not eroded away for the sakeof a vegetative park (Bolund & Hunhammar, 1999). The servicesprovided within the park can only be improved by making sure that thepark has been returned to a largely forested park. This means thatthe municipal leadership must come with initiatives that will seemore trees being planted in the park especially the endangeredspecies of hardwoods. This way, the park will remain unique and servethe residents in a better way.
In conclusion, Point Pleasant Park is an enriched environs orecosystem that is worthy visiting by any person in need of relaxingor even exploration. With its numerous services and goods offered,the park has become an important tool to the people and also themanagement group, which is the area municipal. With measures such asreforestation being practiced in the region, the ecosystem has inturn maintained its beauty to the people visiting it.
Castle, G. (1999). Point Pleasant Park: An illustrated history.Halifax, NS: Pleasant Point Pub..
Lapierre, M. (2012). Topography: Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, NovaScotia.
North, A., & Waldheim, C. (2013). Landscape Urbanism: A NorthAmerican Perspective. In Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design(pp. 391-406). Springer Netherlands.
Peckham, S. C., Duinker, P. N., & Ordóñez, C. (2013). Urbanforest values in Canada: Views of citizens in Calgary and Halifax.Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 12(2), 154-162.
Roberston, S. (1990). Point Pleasant Park Halifax, Nova Scotia barkbeetle survey. Halifax Field Naturalists Report to the TechnicalAdvisory Committee of the Point Pleasant Park Commission.
Alberti, M., & Marzluff, J. (2004). Ecological resilience inurban ecosystems: Linking urban patterns to human and ecologicalfunctions. Urban Ecosystems, 7(3), 241-265.
Bolund, P., & Hunhammar, S. (1999). Ecosystem services in urbanareas. Ecological Economics, 29(2), 293-301.
Halifax Regional Municipality. (2012). Urban Forest Master Plan.Halifax, NS, and online athttp://www.halifax.ca/RealPropertyPlanning/UFMP/documents/ADOPTEDUFMP.pdf:Halifax Regional Municipality.