Provincial Parks Glossary

Biodiversity or biological diversity: The variety and interconnectedness of all life, including all plants, animals, and other organisms, the genes they contain, and the systems and processes that link them.

Conservation: A managed or controlled attempt to restore, enhance, protect and sustain species and ecosystems for present and future generations.

Core Parks: Properties that incorporate provincially and regionally significant natural heritage values and/or provide opportunities for high quality nature-based outdoor recreation, education and tourism. Provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, education and tourism.

Crown land: All or any part of land under the administration of the Minister of Lands and Forestry.

Designated: An area of land formally recognized by the Governor in Council under the terms of the Provincial Parks Act.

Designation: The ability of the Province of Nova Scotia to formally declare the name by which a provincial park is to be known.

Endangered : A species facing imminent extirpation or extinction .

Ecosystem: A complex system of living organisms (plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms), their environment (soil, water, air, and nutrients), and the interacting processes among them.

Extirpated : A species that no longer exists in the wild in the Province but exists in the wild outside the Province.

Extinct: A species that no longer exists.

Historic Park: A park that preserves and protects distinctive historical resources in open space settings and is managed for interpretive, educational and research purposes.

IBP: Ecologically significant site identified under the International Biological Program.

National Park: An area of federal land administered by Parks Canada.

National Wildlife Area: An area of federal land, administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service,  selected for the protection of particular animals, often migratory birds. The rules for national wildlife areas are set out in the Canada Wildlife Act.

Natural Environment Park: A park that incorporates representative natural landscapes in combination with outstanding recreational resources.

Natural heritage: Enduring benefits of nature, including land, air, water, and wildlife, as well as geology, landforms, and biodiversity, and their associated ecosystem functions.

Natural Heritage Reserve: A park that protects natural features, sites, objects or landscapes of provincial significance primarily for scientific and educational purposes.

Nature Reserve: A small area, administered by Nova Scotia Environment, selected to protect unique or rare species or features. They provide our highest level of protection and are used mainly for education and research.

Non-operational Park: A property with no facilities or services available.

NS Atlas: The Nova Scotia Atlas, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, Nova Scotia Geomatics Centre, published by Formac Publishing Company Limited and the Province of Nova Scotia.

Operational Park: A property that is available for public use and provides a varying degree of facilities and services.

Outdoor Recreation Park: A park that incorporates quality recreational resources capable of supporting a wide variety of outdoor activities and is established to meet the recreational needs of residents and visitors.

Park Reserve: Crown lands administered through the provincial parks program. Usually not designated or operational.

Patch: an area of land identified by Nova Scotia Environment as having the potential to contribute to the Province’s goal of protecting 12 per cent of its landbase by 2015. (see

Provincial Park: A park or park reserve administered by the Department of Lands and Forestry, whether designated by the Provincial Parks Act or not. Provincial parks system refers collectively to all the provincial parks and park reserves in Nova Scotia.

Protected Area / Protected Areas System: Land and water dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity and natural and cultural resources, and managed through legal means. Protected areas include wilderness areas, nature reserves, and both national and provincial parks, as well as lands under conservation easement with a land trust, and national wildlife areas.

Public: Any individual or group of individuals with an interest in, or affected by, the outcomes of a decision.

Stakeholder: Any individual or group who may be affected, impacted or has an interest in the issue or proposal. This may include industry association, business groups or social action groups. Stakeholders can also be referred to as 'the public.'

Stewardship: The responsible use and conservation of natural resources in a way that takes full and balanced account of the interests of society, future generations, and other species.

Supporting Parks: Properties that protect locally significant natural heritage values. Provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, education and tourism.

Sustainability: The management and use of natural resources in ways that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Un-designated: An area of land assigned to the Parks program but not formally recognized under the Provincial Parks Act.

Threatened: A species likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed.

Vulnerable: A species of special concern because of characteristics that make it particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events.

Wayside Park: A park that provides specific recreational facilities and services adjacent to travel corridors or local communities and may be a roadside picnic area, scenic viewpoint, access point, boat launch or small park area of local significance.

Wilderness Area: A large area selected to protect nature while supporting wilderness recreation, hunting, sport fishing, trapping, and other uses. The rules for wilderness areas are set out in Nova Scotia’s Wilderness Areas Protection Act, administered by Nova Scotia Environment.

Wildland Park: A park that incorporates natural landscapes and is suited to low-intensity recreational use, particularly relating to non-motorized backcountry travel.