Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

First Annual General Meeting

June 15, 2012


Thank you to all that were able to attend the 1st Annual General Meeting up the Upton Trust.

Please see below for more information, including the report received by Tina Beers, from BDA Landscape Architects.

AGM Minutes 

Presidents Remarks

Treasurer’s Report

Consultants Report


A Concert on the Upton Farmlands?

February 26, 2008


 Charlottetown City Hall

On Jan. 30, 2008 the Council of the City of Charlottetown met with members of the Upton Farm Preservation Network.

The Council asked the UFPN for its opinion on the use of Upton Farm as a potential concert site. The UFPN was told that the concert, if held, would take place on the portion of the Upton Farm located on the north side of the Trans Canada Highway. (This is not the Beach Grove Home side, as has been erroneously reported in some media, but the side bordered by the Trans Canada Hwy and the Upton Road.)

The Council requested a reply from the UFPN as soon as possible, as apparently a decision on where to hold a major concert on PEI is very close to being made.

This was our reply to City Council:

Feb. 1, 2008

Dear Mayor [Clifford] Lee and Council:

After much consideration of your request regarding using Upton Farm as a concert venue our reply must be as follows:

1. Since the working group is only a fraction of the Network, it would be presumptuous, on such an important issue as this, to take a stand without extensive and time-consuming consultation.

2. The Network has not been approached by Canada Lands Corporation for an opinion on this matter, even though the first of a series of consultation meetings took place Jan. 31, 2008, and this issue did not arise.

In view of the above and given that a) the primary focus of the Network is the ‘long term’ preservation of the land as greenspace, and b) we have been assured the current proposal to use the land for a concert venue is a ‘short term, one off’ proposal, the feeling of the Upton Farm Preservation Network working group is that we should remain neutral on this matter.

Again, we want to forward our sincere thanks for the gracious reception we received, as well as for your expressed commitment to continued support and co-operation, regardless of our decision.

Standing together we can reach our goal of preserving the Upton Farm.

Most sincerely and on behalf of the Upton Farm Preservation Network,

Kirsten Connor

We’re working hard to save the Farm

January 29, 2008


Husky silhouetted by Upton Farm sunset. As you can see by the tracks in the snow, this property is well-used by residents for recreational purposes all winter long.

While the weather at times has been frightful, a core group of the Upton Farm Preservation Network Network continues to meet weekly. We have had discussions with provincial and city officials about the future of the Upton Farmlands, and we were keen observers of the Canada Lands presentation concerning the future of the Dominion Building on Queen Street in downtown Charlottetown.

Please keep in mind that the Upton Farmlands are not saved nor protected yet. There is merely a moratorium on development. We depend on your support as discussions with various officials continue.

On another note, if you’re in the mood (and the weather EVER cooperates) for a winter walk or snowshoe, with or without your four-legged friend, keep Upton Farm in mind. It has rolling hills for those who want a real workout and lots of straight paths for those who prefer more gentle exercise.


December 13, 2007


Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now
Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come . . .

From “Thought-Fox” by Ted Hughes

Sometimes it just takes a glance to the edge of the path to see that a whole different world exists beyond our day-to-day concerns; and those who inhabit that world seem every bit as curious about us as we are about them.

Photo taken at Upton Farm by Kathy Kennedy


Friends of Farm AGM Features Eminent Scientist

November 6, 2007


The Friends of the Farm is a non-profit volunteer organisation formed to protect the Charlottetown’s  agricultural research station property (also known as Ravenwood, The Experimental Farm and The Home Farm) from commercial development. [At one time, this property, like the Upton Farmlands, was in danger of being transferred to the Canada Lands Company and being developed for profit. However, unlike the Upton Farmlands, it has been retained by Agriculture Canada and the Friends are working hard to retain it for the pleasure and use of all residents].

The Friends’ AGM took place Nov. 13 and featured a lecture by Diana Beresford-Kroeger entitled “Island Trees, Island Treasures”. Beresford-Kroeger said: “PEI has the climate, the soils, and the inclination to grow a treasury of trees: the kinds of trees that beat the stock market and keep the Island solvent in a most interesting way ….”

Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a scientist and author specializing in classical botany and medical biochemistry. She is known for her captivating and well informed lectures and is the author of Arboretum America: A Philosophy of the Forest and A Garden for Life, about growing gardens for pleasure which are also eco-friendly, which won the 2005 American National Arbor Day Foundation Media Award. Beresford-Kroeger has regularly contributed to, written for, or hosted programs on CBC radio, National Public Radio (USA) and CTV. She is a regular columnist for the Canadian magazines, Nature Canada, and Eco/Farm and Gardens, and the community newspaper, the Merrickville Phoenix. She continues to write and conduct research in her extensive private gardens at Merrickville, Ontario. A documentary film completed in 2007, about her life and her garden, will be broadcast in March 2008 in North America and Europe.

For more information:

Photo Credit: Friends of the Farm

“Coastal areas a big concern,” says Nature Conservancy of Canada

October 26, 2007


The Upton Farmlands property today. The Canada Lands Company, the federal crown corporation that holds responsiblity for this land, wants to develop it for houses and businesses despite the fact there are nearly 300 serviced housing lots nearby ready for use. In effect, CLC wants to compete with PEI residents to sell real estate properties and profit from this land which was paid for by the taxpayers of Canada.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada unveiled its Conservation Blueprint for the Maritimes earlier this week. The blueprint highlights areas that are not well protected. In P.E.I. and the rest of the Maritimes, coastal regions are a big concern, according to Philip Greyson of the NCC, who was quoted in The Guardian newspaper.

“The coast is very much under threat from development but very important to the overall ecology of the Maritimes. The coast was one of the highest priority areas for us to focus our efforts and I think for everyone to,” he said.

Greyson added that farming and housing development are also reducing significant areas of wetlands in the province, which are important to overall ecology of an area.

Amplifying Greyson’s comments, the NCC website states this about our Island:

The scarcity of land in PEI means that any opportunity to preserve a piece of the province’s natural heritage must be taken.

The picture above shows the Upton Farmlands as it is today. The Canada Lands Company has plans to use this property for a housing development; indeed, would have proceeded already if it was not for protests from thousands of Islanders and organizations like the PEI Shellfishers and the Women’s Institute.

Please continue your support to the Upton Farm Preservation Network to save this priceless piece of PEI coastline.

Sea Lettuce “a menace taking over PEI”

October 14, 2007


The October 12th Charlottetown Guardian reported on an environmental conference held in Montague. The environmentalists in attendance said that “sea lettuce is a menace taking over many estuaries in PEI and must be curtailed in the interests of fishing and tourism.”

Sea lettuce grows in nutrient rich waters and has a distinctly rotten egg odour when exposed to the air at low tide. Its presence indicates problems with the oxygen quality of the water. The growth of this plant is accelerating exponentially around our Island.

“Human activity is the cause and we need to address the problem.  It’s easy to say blame the farmers, but there’s more to it than that. It’s caused by residential influence as well,” says Dr. Andrew Trivett of UPEI.

“Residential influence” includes building housing developments close to the ocean’s edge where storm water can wash a nutrient-rich soup of fertilizers, detergents, and other household and industrial chemicals into the sea. This increase of nutrients, in the form of phosphorous, ammonium and nitrogen, is called eutrophication, which causes red tides, yellow and green slimes and slicks and triggers the growth of sea lettuce.

Sea lettuce growth can already be observed in the estuaries of the North River around the potential CLC megadevelopment at Upton Farm. Yellow signs posted by the Department of Fisheries warn that shellfish harvested there are toxic to humans. Fishers who work these waters transport their oysters elsewhere on the Island to be suspended on lines in cleaner water until all toxins are washed from their systems and they are safe for human consumption.

We ignore the “menace” of sea lettuce growth to the peril of of both our fishing and tourist industries, the life blood of the PEI economy. The proposed CLC housing development at Upton Farm can only increase the danger. We must look to our future, and save this land. The time for lining the pockets of the few to the detriment of our environment is past.

Farley Mowat Donates Land to NS Nature Trust: We Challenge CLC To Do Same in PEI

September 8, 2007


Author Farley Mowat and his wife, author Claire Mowat.

Well-known Canadian author Farley Mowat recently donated 200 acres of his Cape Breton property to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

 “Nova Scotia is like every other part of the western world, teetering on the edge of falling into some developer’s hands and being destroyed for money,” Mowat told CBC News.


Obviously, the perfect example of what Farley is talking about is what may happen to the Upton Farmlands. 

As you know, the Canada Lands Company (an arm of the federal government) is intent on selling this piece of PEI coastline, bought and paid for by the taxpayers of Canada decades ago, to real estate developers to be used for tract housing. 

CLC wants to divide up this beautiful property, located in an area of Charlottetown that already has hundreds of serviced housing lots for sale,  and sell it off piece by piece for yet another subdivision.

 We, and groups such as the PEI Shellfishers, have repeatedly asked that the Upton Farmlands be donated to the citizens of PEI for an urban forest and for recreational use.

If a private citizen like Farley Mowat can sacrifice  the monetary profit he could make on selling 200 acres of his Cape Breton coastal property for the betterment of our country, think how inspiring it would be if the government of Canada followed suit and donated the Upton Farmlands to its “real owners,” as Farley terms the people of Canada.

We challenge the Federal Government to follow Farley Mowat’s example.

The CBC story about Farley Mowat’s generous donation is here:

“Farley Mowat and his wife, Claire, are donating more than 200 acres of land on Cape Breton Island to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

The couple has lived in River Bourgeois for 30 years.

The iconic Canadian author and environmentalist is calling on other Nova Scotians to follow his example and help protect the province’s coastline by donating their land to the conservation charity.

“Nova Scotia is like every other part of the western world, teetering on the edge of falling into some developer’s hands and being destroyed for money,” Mowat told CBC News.

“But it is just at the crux, and at this point Claire and I have decided we should give it to its real owners.”

Mowat said they’ve closely studied the animals, birds, insects and plant life on their property, and are scared by the decline they have witnessed.

He said his family wants to make sure nothing interferes with the land that runs along the coast of St. Peter’s Bay.

The Mowats’ donation is being made through a federal tax incentive program.

Bonnie Sutherland, executive director of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, is delighted by the donation.

The land contains fresh water wetlands and bogs, two peninsulas with estuarial inland bays, beaches and a fresh water lagoon.

“So, it has a real diversity of habitats, a lot of different species that depend on this kind of property,” Sutherland said.

“I think it’s significant beyond this particular piece, which is affectionately known as Farley’s Ark, the place where he’s preserved these species and wants to see that natural oasis protected and preserved into the future.

“But it’s also really significant because of the context of Nova Scotia’s coastline where 95 per cent of the coast is in private hands.”

Farley Mowat is also taking on the role of patron for the Nature Trust’s Campaign for the Coast.

July at Upton Farm

July 24, 2007


There are no words to describe the view that one is privileged to see when walking the path at Upton Farm.  Just look, and enjoy, or better still, come out and see it for yourself. The breeze off the North River cools the hottest summer evening.

Eagles’ Rest

July 24, 2007


Well, they’re not the best homebuilders in the neighbourhood, as a matter of fact, they could use a little advice on how to straighten things up so their dwelling place isn’t driving down the area property values. Despite their lack of talent in the exterior decorating department, the  eagles flying home to roost in this nest every evening is a welcome sight to regular visitors to Upton Farm.

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