The St.Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association
The St.Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association was established as a non-profit volunteer association in 2003. Inspired by the natural beauty of the Bay, our focus is to safeguard and enhance its unique quality of life. In that capacity we act as a spokesperson and facilitator for Bay residents on issues that range from commercial development to environmental challenges and the reform of the HRM by-laws. We are also involved in coastal stewardship and preservation along with celebrating the Bay's history and culture in festivals and gatherings.
The SMBSA has a 15-member board of directors drawn from communities around the bay spanning from East Dover to the Aspatagon Pennisula and a network of approximately 500 close supporters. Our members and supporters reach into many allied organizations and fully participate in every aspect of Bay life.
Board decision making is by consensus based on community values. Those values are continually assessed and refined by personal contacts, board activism in various volunteer causes, formal surveys and a close scrutiny of the political and development process.
SMBSA is a leader in community activism. In spring of 2008, we hosted a public conference entitled “Responding to Change.” Bay residents were invited to answer a questionnaire on change and to express their views on a broad number of social, environmental and political options. As a result, SMBSA authored a position paper that continues to be influential in shaping current attitudes towards change among three levels of government and developers operating in the Bay.
This gathering was followed up in the spring of 09 with a visioning session focused on a village concept for the Crossroads around Tantallon. Over 100 people attended representing close to 35 organizations around the bay. Both reports can be found on our website.
Our 2004 initiative on Asset Mapping was a first step in creating an inventory of environmental and social assets of 14 Bay communities. We were also a force in gathering other Bay associations such as the SMB Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Association to respond to the St. Margaret’s Square development in Tantallon Village.
With its profile, board resources web site, communication links and associations, the SMBSA is a lightning rod and clearing house for challenging Bay issues, as well as a place of inspiration for positive change and community planning. While we respond to all enquiries, the Association’s steering committee focuses on issues where we can make a contribution most in keeping with our limited resources. In 2007, for example, the SMBSA raised in excess of $1 million for the public purchase and ongoing management of Micou’s Island. In 2008, a special Heart of the Bay Endowment Fund was established to maintain the Island’s historical cottage and similar ventures.
Our Policy on Developpment: The SMBSA supports development that is sustainable, environmentally sensistive, and respectful of community values. The Associatioin approaches each development as unique and is committed to working with government and developers to ensure the acknowledgment of resident concerns and reach consesus.