Local News

Cabox Geopark Meeting Held at Grenfell

On June 10, the Cabox Global Geopark initiative spanning the Bay of Islands Ophiolites from Lewis Hills to Tablelands held its first public meeting at the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University in Corner Brook. International Appalachian Trail and Cabox Geopark Chairperson Paul Wylezol gave presentations on the IAT, renowned Newfoundland Geologist Harold "Hank" Williams and the proposed Cabox Geopark

Paul Wylezol, Chairperson of International Appalachian Trail and Cabox Geopark Committee

while special guest speaker Hugh Barron, Marketing Sector Manager with the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, Scotland, gave a presentation on UNESCO sponsored Global Geoparks and his experience helping to develop them in Scotland.

Hugh Barron, Sector Manager with the British Geological Survey, Edinburgh, Scotland

The meeting was well attended and included representatives from various stakeholders, including Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd, Western Destination Marketing Organization, and communities in the Bay of Islands and Bonne Bay which support the project. Also on hand were representatives from various government departments and agencies, interested businesses and individuals, and Grenfell staff.

Paul's opening presentation was a summary of IAT developments across the North Atlantic, from the U.S. and Canada to Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, France, Spain and Portugal. In Europe, the IAT now traverses eight European Geoparks, members of the "Global Network of National Geoparks".

Hugh's presentation outlined the goal of Global Geoparks, both in terms of promoting natural and cultural heritage and sustainable economic development.

The presentation on the late Harold "Hank" Williams was a tribute to an internationally renowned geologist who is little known in his home province of Newfoundland Labrador. Beginning in the 1960's, Hank increased the extent and scientific understanding of the Appalachian Caledonian orogeny, and in the process became one geology's most acclaimed map makers. He spent much of his time studying the rock formations of Western Newfoundland, including the Humber Arm Allochthon and Bay of Islands Ophiolites. He also helped establish Gros Morne National Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Cabox Global Geopark presentation focussed on the unique geology of the Bay of Islands Ophiolites (Tablelands, North Arm Hills, Blow Me Down Mountains, and Lewis Hills), and the region's rich maritime heritage. It also outlined the approximate boundaries of the proposed Geopark and the next steps in the Canadian Geopark application process.

The meeting ended with a slideshow of over 200 scenes captured within the boundaries of the planned Geopark, from sweeping mountain and ocean vistas to unique geology and diverse flora and fauna.

However for the BGS's Hugh Barron, the camera continued to roll. In addition to a June 9 float plane ride over the Blow Me Down Mountains and Lewis Hills with the IATNL's Robert Bradbury

(left to right) Robert Bradbury, Arne Helgeland and Hugh Barron

and a delicious waterfront lobster boil at Alan and Mary-Lou Sheppard's Captain Cook Bed & Breakfast and Cottages in York Harbour

(left to right) Robert Bradbury, Kevin Noseworthy, Arne Helgeland, Hugh Barron, Lark Harbour Mayor John Parsons, and Alan Sheppard

Hugh went on a 24km one-day trek into Simms Gulch, Serpentine Valley

and a two-day trip up the Great Northern Peninsula, including a boat tour of Western Brook Pond,

a visit to the Global Stratotype (between the Cambrian and Ordovician geologic periods) at Green Point,

a road tour past the Tablelands,

and a short hike of Trout River's Eastern Point Trail.

Thanks for attending our meeting Hugh, and giving us the opportunity to show you our fair land!

For more on the June 10 Cabox Global Geopark meeting at Grenfell Campus, go to thewesternstar.com.