In 2009, The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg underwent a scheduled review of the 2002/2003 Open Space Strategic Plan.
In addition to new site recommendations, there was also a review of the Open Space Policies which guide the development, acquisition and overall priority of open space in the Municipality.
These policies encourage continued community consultation with residents and property owners concerning present and future open space opportunities on municipal properties, and give value to areas of ecological significance. This includes supporting initiatives that encourage partnerships with stakeholders to open space ownership and management.
Council adopted the proposed changes on February 9th, 2010 and passed a motion to approve the amendments to the Open Space Strategic Plan.
Click here for Open Space Report October 2013 for the Municipality's Open Space Priorities
Click here to read the full plan. See below for an executive summary.
Properly designed and managed open space is an invaluable asset and a cornerstone of a community's beauty, health, stability, and economy. Council recognizes that a comprehensive open space strategy is a prerequisite of a successful and sustainable community, not exclusively the option of an affluent one. It is for these reasons that Council has adopted this Open Space Strategic Plan.
The open space needs of this Plan were identified through user consultations and planning team analysis of many aspects of the Municipality such as demographic characteristics, geographic and recreation trends. A S.W.O.T (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis was conducted on the findings of the team, resulting in the identification of 26 actions to address the needs and issues of the Municipality.
In addition to site-specific actions, a number of policy and related statements were identified during public consultations. An open space strategic plan would not be complete without guiding principles and policy structures to direct open space actions beyond those detailed in this report.
Due to the nature of land acquisition, evolving recreation trends, and available resources, this plan must be continually monitored in order to maximize its effects and desired results.
Major findings and concerns
54% of the municipality's residents are over the age of 40. These are the baby boomers and are the largest segment of the population. This group generally prefers passive, low impact activities. Their preferences and tendencies have a strong influence over the needs of the community.
There is a general trend towards outdoor, nature-based recreation. Based on the Canadian Community Health Survey, only 17.6% of respondents in the Southwest regions of Nova Scotia reported to be physically active.
A study published in a major Canadian medical journal shows that major savings in health care spending can be achieved through an increase in recreation. A healthier population is achieved through a physically active lifestyle.
Successful open space management attracts residents, business, and tourists. This, in turn, brings money and growth to the community. As increasingly fewer jobs require physical activity, open space recreation is becoming more important.
Resource extraction and residential housing developments contribute to a rapid decline in available open space. Land negotiations and acquisition is necessary to ensure adequate and accessible open space with an emphasis on lakeshore and coastline. This includes the uncertain future of many traditional open space resources which are currently in the stewardship of aging members of the community.