Watch our collection of video vignettes:
- Welcome to UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve
- Dulsing We Will Go…
- Musique de la Baie
- Leave Your Mark on Conservation
- Whale Watching on the Bay of Fundy
- Discover the Culture of Nova Scotia’s First People
- Hooking by the Sea, Retreats on Brier Island
- Into the Heart of the Biosphere by Paddle
- Plankton, Periwinkles and Predators
- Foraging Through the Forest
- Journey into the Night Sky
- Ancient Mi’Kmaw Culture Re-emerges, Acadia First Nation Gathering, June 20 & 21, 2013
- Additional Vignettes from within the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve
Welcome to the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve, the largest wilderness area in the Maritimes — second largest in Canada. Nestled in southern part of Nova Scotia, the biosphere encompasses almost a quarter of the province – 1.5 million hectares!
The area is teeming with natural and cultural diversity. Immerse yourself in the deep-rooted cultures: Mi’Kmaq, Acadian, Loyalists and Scottish. Referred to as “Kespukwitk” by the Mi’kmaw people, this is the place where the flowing waters meet the ocean. Immerse yourself in our many lakes and rivers, surrounded by the majestic Acadian forest or escape to the spectacular seacoast.
Our UNESCO Biosphere, consisting of Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada, the Tobeatic Wilderness Area and the surrounding five counties in southwest Nova Scotia, is home to highest diversity of reptiles and amphibians east of Ontario and more than 75 percent of Nova Scotia’s species at risk. The area also has the largest collection of petroglyphs in eastern North America.
The Biosphere has the rugged coast of the Bay of Fundy on one side, which boasts the highest tides in the world — where water rises and falls as much as 50 feet twice a day and is bountiful in sea vegetables and sea life. On the other, a coastline of white sandy beaches invite you to explore, hear and feel the crisp Atlantic Ocean and her powerful surf.
For generations we have called this home, fished, farmed, harvested and appreciated a unique, traditional way of life, where Man and his Biosphere interact sustainably.
Come, sample and experience our UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve. Embark on an ocean adventure in search of whales or periwinkles, assist Mother Nature in caring for her species at risk, retrace the footsteps of our Mi’Kmaq people, or explore and savour the Biosphere by paddle or on foot — you’ll find yourself connecting to the unique cultural and physical landscapes we call home.
As our guest, let us guide you through our UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve and you’ll soon discover why UNESCO designated our part of Nova Scotia, one of the world’s Biosphere Reserves.The UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve has an adventure waiting…all it needs is you.
Join Wanda Van Tassel of Fundy Adventures as she takes you on a dulsing adventure. This sea vegetable farmer is dedicated to sustainability as she harvests a variety of seaweed from around Gulliver’s Cove a part of the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve on the Bay of Fundy.
The Bay features the highest and lowest tides in the world — rising and falling some 50ft as 100 billion tons of oceanwater rush in and out twice daily. Walk on the ocean floor at low tide and discover the plant life as you learn about, pick, and best of all eat the dulse. Taste seaweed fresh from the sea, learn about its health benefits right before she teaches you how to cook with it. Try Wanda’s famous DLT (dulse, lettuce, tomato) sandwich, a dulse tea biscuit and a cup of dulse tea.
Fundy Adventures: http://www.fundyadventures.com/about.htm
To truly experience the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores culture, take part in a Musique de la Baie. This music by the sea extravaganza is a wonderful showcase of local talent and cuisine. Travel through the fishing villages and all along the shores, stopping in at the various venues taking part in this musical showcase.
Restaurants play host to kitchen parties as local musicians regale you with traditional song and stories of their people. Authentic Acadian dishes are served in the Acadian regions including the freshest seafood you’ve ever tasted caught from along these very shores. The UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve is home to the oldest Acadian region, still Acadian, in North America.
Musique de la Baie: http://www.yasmusicbythesea.com
Lend a hand – Leave a Legacy
Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site Species at Risk Volunteer Program
UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve.
Go behind the scenes at Kejimkujik National Park and Kejimkujik Seaside, and volunteer to work directly with park staff and researchers who are helping the species that call the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve home. Not only will you witness these species in their natural habitat, you will also take part in helping to protect them.
Help the endangered Blanding’s Turtle. Paddle the lakes and count loons. Search for endangered piping plovers. Fish for green crabs and plant eelgrass as part of coastal restoration. Learn from dedicated and knowledgeable people who are working toward species recovery and environmental conservation in this unique habitat. It’s a rewarding experience with a significant impact. Come on, lend a hand and leave a legacy for future generations, while on vacation. For every season, there is a different volunteer experience.
The most majestic creatures call the Bay of Fundy their summer home. Come and learn what makes the bay so unique. Take a tour from one our knowledgeable tour companies operating along Digby Neck. Observe whales, porpoises, seals and seabirds as experienced guides teach you about wildlife in the bay.
With the highest tide and lowest tides in the world, the bay provides a truly unique habitat and an ample feeding ground for a variety of sea life. From June to October, you’ll find Humpback, Minke, Finback, the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale and occasionally a few unexpected species around the bay.
Whale Watching Operators:
Discover the ancient history of Nova Scotia’s first people in the timeless landscape of Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. Considered a cultural landscape, the land at Kejimkujik showcases the culture, lifestyle and beliefs of the Mi’kmaw who have inhabited this land for at least 10,000 years.
Discover the culture of the Mi’kmaw people through programs and activities delivered by Mi’kmaw interpreters. Take a guided walking tour of the petroglyphs, North America’s largest collection of aboriginal rock art. Learn about a culture with an infinite supply of knowledge about the natural environment, using sustainable approaches to resources for thousands of years.
Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ns/kejimkujik/natcul/cul.aspx
At the tip of the Digby Neck on the Bay of Fundy, sits rustic and ecologically magical Brier Island, a stop over for migrating seabirds, where wild brier roses grow and whales swim in the nearby bay. What better setting for an idyllic farm, dedicated to keeping traditional farming methods alive?
Here Victoria Graham offers guests unique Hooking By the Sea Retreats. From start to finish she’ll share with you an adventure in hand raising the animals that grow the sheared, skirted, washed, carted, hand spun yarn that in turn creates the art, that you’ll be working on. She’ll teach you all about it, while she serves up a dose of local history and folklore tied innately to the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve.
Hooking by the Sea Retreats: http://hookingbythesearetreats.com/index.html
Nestled in Weymouth Mills on the Sissiboo River is Hinterland Adventures. Tour the Tobeatic Wilderness Area of the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve by canoe, where you can paddle for days without seeing another soul.
Observe nature on all tours especially Bald Eagles when kayaking on the Sissiboo River. With customized tours, Hinterland’s guides will teach you everything you need to know, from how to paddle to how to build and cook over an open fire. You never know what you’ll encounter on these tranquil tours as you travel the way the Mi’kmaq people once did. You might even see a petroglyph etched into the rocks or, if you are lucky, an arrowhead lying on a lake bed.
Hinterland Adventures: http://kayakingnovascotia.com/
Have you ever watched a barnacle feeding frenzy? Well, you can along the rocky shores of Point Prim located at the edge of the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve near Digby. Walk along the ocean floor where the low tides of the Bay of Fundy expose several zones of seashore life, including periwinkles and barnacles.
Retired science teacher Greg Turner will help you experience the wide diversity of life and the interconnections among the species found there. There is always something new to discover as you get up close and personal with the flora and the fauna during this hands-on adventure.
GAEL Tours: http://www.gaeltours.ca/
On the southern edge of the Tobeatic Wilderness Area sits Trout Point Lodge, with a true devotion to ecotourism. Experience nature in a new and interesting way by taking an edible hike. Our naturalist will guide the way through the pristine forest exploring bogs, marshes and around the edge of Tusket River.
Discover new delicacies you never knew existed, such as wild cranberries, root vegetables and mushrooms, all from the Acadian Forest around you. Back at the lodge enjoy a culinary treat, cooking the bounty you have foraged. It’s a truly unique way to experience the land with all of your senses, especially taste, within the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve.
Trout Point Lodge: http://www.troutpoint.com/
Journey into the Night Sky — Experience the Dark Sky Preserve at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
Discover the darkest skies of Nova Scotia within Kejimkujik, a Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Dark Sky Preserve. In the heart of Kejimkujik’s wilderness, we’ll take you on a journey into the night sky surrounded by the protected forest to a rare place uninhibited by light pollution.
Learn about astronomical science and Mi’kmaw cultural perspectives of the star-filled night sky with Parks Canada Interpreters and Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Astronomers. Escape skyward, experience the night the same way the Mi’kmaq experienced the skies of Kejimkujik thousands of years ago, in spectacular, natural darkness here within the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve.
Kejimjujik National Park and National Historic Site: http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ns/kejimkujik/natcul/nat/nat6.aspx
Ancient Mi’Kmaw Culture Re-emerges, Acadia First Nation Gathering, June 20 & 21, 2013
On June 20 & 21, 2013, in recognition, celebration and in spirit of sharing, Acadia First Nation along with their partners presented a 2 day Journey into Land’s End, Ancient Mi’Kmaw Culture Re-emerges at White Point Beach Resort, on Nova Scotia South Shore within the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve.
The Summer Solstice gathering welcomed all and was a journey all were honoured to travel upon. Here is a glimpse at the program for the event. This video is a celebration of that gathering – turn up the volume and enjoy!