Over 35 students from St. John the Baptist School joined representatives from TD Bank Group, the City of Saint John and Saint John Waterfront Development to unveil the second Harbour Passage Ecological Hub (Eco Hub).
Eco Hub #2 is the second of three, funded by a $500,000 contribution by TD. The Eco Hubs serve to educate Harbour Passage users about the environment in and around the Saint John Harbour. These sites will educate the community and visitors by highlighting destination points that follow the Harbour from the southern peninsula to Saint John’s west side.
Thanks to the generous donation of $500,000 from the TD Bank Group the second Harbour Passage Ecological Hub has become a reality. This TD contribution is providing opportunities to create unique environmental and educational destinations along the renowned 3.6km Harbour Passage walkway.
Saint John Mayor Mel Norton said, “This gift from TD allows us to tell the story and educate users about the unique environmental story of the Saint John Harbour and our shorelines. Through this investment TD continues to demonstrate its commitment to the greening and sustainability of our waterfront.”
The Ecological Hubs, known as “Eco-Hubs”, are informative, educational and youthful destinations located in strategic positions along Harbour Passage. Complete with interpretative signage and interactive elements, these “themed” eco-hubs provide a focus on environmental awareness, science factoids and nature’s dynamic and robust ecosystems.
"Saint John's Harbour Passage walkway celebrates the city's strong connection to nature. TD shares this passion for the environment and we understand the importance of education about our ecosystem,” said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group. "We're thrilled to support the Eco-Hubs and their ability to teach us about nature in a unique way that also gives us greater knowledge into Saint John's rich heritage and environment.”
At each destination there is the opportunity to incorporate a distinctive story and deliver that message in a built form that follows elements of the LEED building program through a fun and engaging design. Also, included will be “green landscape elements” appropriate to the climate that will add to the “greening” of the Passage and reinforce the environmental message that is being delivered.
“TD is making and has allowed Harbour Passage to “come to life” even more. TD is a true community partner, we are extremely proud to be working with an organization with an exemplary track record of supporting environmental projects in communities across Canada. We are fortunate to have a strong, supportive and exciting partner in TD,” said Stephen Alexander, Chairman, Saint John Development Corporation.
This newest Eco-Hub is an impressive array of interpretative elements that include 2D and 3D mammals (harbor porpoise, harbor seal, and river otter), invertebrates, birds, fish and plants. Each element has an interactive component that allows the user to explore and learn.
These destinations can offer educators’ and families the opportunity to deliver a day of science curriculum in an experiential fashion, while participating in a healthy living activity.
Kent MacIntyre, General Manager, Saint John Waterfront Development said: “Educating our youth about the geological history of the Saint John area, the marine ecosystems, the interface between environment, nature and industry and most importantly having our youth learn while participating in a healthy living activity is critical to fostering vibrant and dynamic youth. Thanks to TD, we will be able to positively affect youth in Saint John.”
Eco Hub #1, unveiled in June, features educational and environmental interpretative signage, 2D and 3D structures focused on a themed approach to learning more about the Bay of Fundy, Saint John Harbour and surrounding natural habitats. “Cycles of Nature”, deals with the cycle of nature and how they affect the tides, moon, fish and sea mammals. The third ECO Hub is scheduled to be installed spring/summer 2015.
The Eco Hub was the concept of Dan Glenn of the Glenn Group and designed by Julie Scriver of Goose Lane. The City of Saint John through the Parks and Urban Landscape Service has provided assistance by providing the property, maintenance and logistical support.
Saint John Waterfront Development is managing the design, construction, fabrication and installation of the phased Eco Hub projects.
About TD Community Giving
TD Bank Group invests in communities in order to effect positive change in the places where it operates and where its clients and employees live and work. In 2013, TD donated over $74.7 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, TD focuses on education and financial literacy, creating opportunities for young people and the environment. For further information, please visit www.td.com/corporateresponsibility.