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From left to right: Nature Conservancy of Canada program director Paula Noel, Kings Centre MLA Bill Oliver, Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Brittany Merrifield, and Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland. Image: Regis Phillips

Lonewater Farm property designated for conservation

By Regis Phillips May 24, 2024 | 5:18 PM

The former site of an addiction treatment centre in Grand Bay-Westfield is now designated for conservation.

The Department of Natural Resources now owns the 167-hectare Lonewater Farm facility. The facility closed in 2020 and moved its programming to the Ridgewood Addiction Services facility in Saint John.

Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland says this property is considered an area with high conservation value, and protecting it will be a huge asset to the local community and the province.

“If we can do a good job of engaging the Department of Tourism to make sure that this is on the radar, can you imagine if a group of tourists that have nothing but an urban frame of reference come into an environment like this?” said Holland.

“Conservation is also helping to ensure our landscape is resilient to climate change, and that future generations will be able to experience the beautiful natural areas that we have today.”

The department will consult with partners to develop a plan for the stewardship and restoration of the site while also considering recreational and educational opportunities for the local community.

Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Brittany Merrifield is pleased that Lonewater Farm has been set aside for conservation and environmentally friendly recreation and education.

“We are looking forward to working with the province to ensure that this well-beloved natural space in our community, with its unique and abundant biodiversity, will be protected for this and future generations,” added Merrifield.

The surrounding area is home to nature preserves managed by conservation partners, including the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited.