New signage erected on the Grand Pré dykes 

Wendy Elliott
Published on July 20, 2015

The new signs that have gone up at the entrances to the Grand Pre Marsh Body have prompted some questions.

©Wendy Elliott

GRAND PRE - New signs at the edge of the Grand Pré dykes, depicting a tractor and flying pedestrians, has prompted some discussion among Kings County residents.

Some call the image downright bizarre, while others say they find it sad.

According to Madelyn LeMay, who acts as administrator for the Landscape of Grand Pré, a working subcommittee authorized the signs to educate those unaware of the ecology of the dykes.

She compared the environment to sand dunes and suggested the dykes are just as fragile.

LeMay said the land, which belongs to the Grand Pré Marsh Body, is privately owned and farmers worry about safety issues for children and family pets around large agricultural equipment.

LeMay says the six-person subcommittee is advocating for the completion of the trail system from Wolfville to Avonport as an alternate recreational route.

Committee member Judy Grant, who is a agricultural education co-ordinator with the provincial agriculture department, said she understood the concerns because of the long use of the dyke system recreationally.

“Traffic on the surface erodes the ground cover and deteriorates the structures, then there are breaches. We have to protect the structures,” Grant said.

According to Grant, the amount and type of traffic takes its toll on the dykes. One person doesn’t have the same impact as an ATV or car, for example.

Keeping a sod cover on top of the dykes is important, Grant said, and so is educating the public about potential damage.

“With climate change, the hazards increase. There are higher tides and more extreme weather. It becomes more critical,” she said.

Grant pointed out that the Landscape of Grand Pré has a stewardship responsibility under its UNESCO mandate when traffic can jeopardize the site.

“The dykes are fragile, so we have to build understanding and promote alternative recreational opportunities to keep this a vibrant cultural site,” Grant said.

The Agricultural Marshland conservation act of 1994 says recreational use of any kind is not permitted.

The Landscape of Grand Pré commissioned a branding and signage study in 2013, prepared by Form Media.