Where is the Bay of Islands?
Bay of Islands is the historic name (1800’s) for the region stretching along the Atlantic coastline between Sheet Harbour and Sherbrooke on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. The island archipelago, which includes the Eastern Shore Islands Wildlife Protection Area, is well known to birdwatchers, sailors and kayakers.
The Bay of Islands Center is located in Moser River, roughly 1/2 way between the two communities on Highway #7. See maps…
What is the Bay of Islands Center?
The Bay of Islands Sustainable Economic Development (SED) Center is a Nova Scotian non-profit association established ad hoc in August 2001 to promote the social, economic and environmental principles of sustainable development, to advance the Bay of Islands concept between Sheet Harbour and Sherbrooke as a destination for nature based and cultural tourism, and to establish the Bay of Islands Center as a tourist attraction and educational facility.
The physical “Center” is a 50+ acre heritage property strategically located east of the Moser River Bridge with frontage on Highway #7 and the river. The intersection at Highway #7, Nauglers Settlement Road and Parker’s Loop Road (old highway 7) forms the basis of a large ‘corner’ that will benefit from ‘micro-enterprise clustering’ vis a vis a country market and rest stop, to draw in traffic travelling east from Halifax and west from Antigonish & Cape Breton.
The Center is comprised of two century houses,known locally as “Holman’s Forge” and the “Shellnut House”, a barn and several work shops, fields, a mill stream, and wooded areas of various ages and topographies. It is listed (2003) in NS tourism publications as an attraction.
Currently, the Association is made up of a provisional Board of 5 founding members described as ‘social entrepreneurs’ with an additional 5 individuals desirable of becoming board members. Volunteers at the Centre have come from as close as the community and as far as Europe.
The AGM of the Bay of Islands Centre Ass’n will be held prior to its fiscal year end of March 31st, 2004. Incorporation and an advisory board are planned for 2003.
Since 2001, Center staff & volunteers have been working on an expanded version of the economic development report laid out for Moser River and Area by Conrod Consulting.
“Bay of Islands” branding and logo has been promoted through hosting events like a Spring Business Showcase, Stone Soup Festival, Ironbound Adventure Race and similar events and through working cooperatively with other organizations to promote the concept of business clustering.
Bay of Islands Center projects include building a heritage walking trail along the River and planning a Regional Trail System (HRM) to increase visitation to the region. On the horizon are workshops on renewable energy (wind/solar), sustainable forestry and green building technology.
Planning and infrastructure financing is needed to develop the property into an attraction of excellence – a destination facility that will demonstrate “appropriate” technology for a sustainable future, facilitate relevant events, workshops, conferences, etc. and provide food and accommodation (camping and fixed roof) for visitors to the Center itself and tourists in general.