About the McIntosh Run Watershed

The McIntosh Run river flows within the Halifax Regional Municipality on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia. The McIntosh Run watershed is about 37 square kilometers in area, and the Run is 12.8 kilometers in length. Beginning at it’s headwater Long Lake, the McIntosh Run travels through the community of Spryfield and into the area known as the “Backlands” where it connects East Pine Island Pond, West Pine Island Pond, Long Pond, and Powers Pond along with other smaller pools and wetlands. The McIntosh Run then drains into the Atlantic Ocean through Herring Cove.

The watershed is a mix of natural vegetation (mostly spruce-pine-fir forest, granite barrens, wetlands and lakes) and residential and retail development.  About half of the lands are private and half are provincial Crown lands, the latter most notably Long Lake Provincial Park and large parcels in the Backlands.

About 25,000 people lived in the watershed around the year 2000, and the population has grown significantly with new residential developments adjoining Long Lake, abutting Spryfield, and along Herring Cove Road.

About the McIntosh Run Watershed Association

The McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) began in 1994 as a voice for the McIntosh Run, its tributary waters and the land within its watershed. The goals of MRWA are to further conservation and community stewardship of and to facilitate sustainable public access to the McIntosh Run watershed.  

Over the past 20+ years the association has undertaken long-term stewardship projects within the watershed. Partnering with local elementary and high schools as well as local universities the MRWA engages youth in hands on ecological stewardship. Ongoing projects include “Fish Friends” a program with the local elementary school to raise and release Brook Trout into the McIntosh Run. The MRWA partners with J.L. Isley High School for an annual River Cleanup in June. We have also partnered with university students to survey ecological communities within the watershed and restore and rehabilitate habitat along the river system.

The MRWA has also completed sustainable infrastructure projects within the watershed to make this landscape more accessible to members of our local community. A multiuse Community Trail now runs alongside the McIntosh Run through Spryfield to provide public access to the river. A wilderness Singletrack Trail is currently being developed within the watershed to provide a sustainable wilderness experience to trail users. All with the aim of understanding and appreciating this diverse and beautiful landscape.

The MRWA is currently made up of over 50 members from the local community. Members meet monthly to discuss current projects and issues within the watershed. The association also hosts public events throughout the year.


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