aerial view of a lake surrounded by trees in the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes area

Halifax Greenbelt

A drone shot of Halifax with thin white lines pointing to protected areas.

Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is fortunate to have several open green spaces, including neighbourhood and regional parks as well as wilderness areas. In the Ecology Action Centre's view, this existing network could become a thriving greenbelt for all to enjoy. However, moving beyond this as a concept requires protection of these spaces in the form of policy, by-laws, and appropriate land-use designations. Currently, these spaces face constant development pressures.

Making a greenbelt happen in HRM is easy. It starts with implementing an existing plan called the Halifax Green Network Plan.

Benefits of a Halifax Greenbelt

Benefits of a Halifax Greenbelt

Greenbelts provide many benefits to residents, visitors, and wildlife. Some, but certainly not all of those benefits, include:  

  • Free public recreational opportunities that benefit physical health and wellbeing 

  • The preservation of unique and sensitive natural environments and habitats, many of which protect important ecological functions 

  • Acting as carbon sinks contributing to climate change adaptation 

  • Directing growth into existing urban areas to promote more affordable and sustainable settlement patterns; and 

  • Retaining lands for industrial uses like agriculture and forestry 


Guide to Halifax's Green Network Plan

Guide to Halifax's Green Network Plan

The Halifax Green Network Plan (HGNP) was developed and adopted by HRM but never implemented. The HGNP is based on an existing network of open spaces that are under threat of development. The HGNP offers land management and community design direction to protect and support land suitable for parks and corridors. It also supports: 

  • Maintaining ecologically and culturally important land and aquatic systems 

  • Promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and economically important open spaces 

  • Strategies to manage open spaces 

  • Education regarding ecosystem functions 

Halifax Regional Council approved the HGNP in August of 2018 and directed that the Plan be used as a framework for amending the broader Regional Plan and its secondary planning strategies. Unfortunately, implementation has not occurred.  

The HGNP and a User’s Guide to the Halifax Green Network Plan identify how residents can get involved and help HRM reap the benefits of a greenbelt.