Canada’s federal government is investing $1.16 million to rehabilitate two critical assets at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site and Kejimkujik National Park Seaside, damaged during the post-tropical storm in 2019.
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s made the announcement at the park on June 30.
“As Nova Scotians, we are so fortunate to have Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site in our backyard,” she was quoted stating in a media release. “This investment in safe, sustainable, and climate-resilient infrastructure will not only deliver much-needed repairs following the devastation of post-tropical storm Dorian, it will get Nova Scotians back to work and ensure this beautiful park is ready to safely welcome visitors back.”
One of the projects is to construct a new climate-resilient, permanent pedestrian bridge along the Mersey River trail at Mersey River, which was damaged during the storm. This will replace the former floating bridge and enable year-round visitation and the use of the new Ukme’k shared-use trail, while eliminating costs associated with the annual installation and removal of the floating bridge.
New bridge technology and abutment design include critical climate change adaptation planning and the height of the bridge takes into account storm water levels, storm frequency and wind loading into its design.
Bridge construction has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of August. The entire Mill Falls area is closed for safety reasons.
A second project will see work done on the Kejimkujik Seaside trail network. Damage occurred to both the Harbour Rocks trail and on the Port Joli Head Trail. There was coastal erosion and trail undercutting, washouts, strewn boulders and loss of headland surface.
The rehabilitation of the trails will ensure better resilience against washout and erosion through design, with sustainable trails routed away from areas that are vulnerable to coastal erosion.
According to the release, Kejimkujik’s response to Dorian has incorporated Indigenous participation in several ways, including formal consultation, collaborative archaeology, the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and the involvement of Mi’kmaw staff. Several Mi’kmaw youth have been hired as part of the team to facilitate the archaeology and traditional knowledge components of the work.
The federal government recently completed more than $10 million in projects at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, including renewal of Jeremy’s Bay campground, the introduction of new roofed accommodations and the completion of the 6.3 km new shared-use Ukme’k trail.
Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin