Cliffs of Fundy Geopark Readies to Launch
Supporters of a major tourism designation in southern Cumberland are holding their breath for a major announcement at any moment.
The Board of Directors at UNESCO are meeting today and over the next ten days in Europe. On the agenda for approval is a recommendation that the Cliffs of Fundy be designated an international geopark, the first in Nova Scotia and only the fourth in Canada.
Unlike recreation or theme parks, a geopark is not a fenced attraction but rather a natural phenomenon that is recognized for its natural, rugged beauty and geological structure.
Instead of referring visitors to an entrance gate, map and GPS details are shared online and in promotional material, itemizing the natural attractions in and around the community.
The Cliffs of Fundy incorporate the significant history of a shore already known for unique geology, the world’s highest tides, dinosaur fossils, semi-precious stones, and thousands of years of Mi’kmaq stewardship and culture.
The geopark stretches from Apple River, through Advocate, Parrsboro, Economy, all the way to the Mi’kmawey Debert National Historic Site with many points in between. Visit https://fundygeopark.ca for more detail.
The area was evaluated by an international panel last fall. By all accounts the panel was more than impressed and suggested they would recommend. The chair of the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark Society said he was told that the board has never opposed any committee recommendation. Don Fletcher says he was advised to be ready for an announcement this spring, however the UNESCO board meeting was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is that meeting that is now happening in Europe and Fletcher says word could be received today or any day next week.
The local promoters are so confident, they recently hired a geopark manager. Beth Peterkin began work yesterday and is busily preparing for the impending announcement.
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