SAM Member Since: 2021
Area Protected: 1637 acres
St. George’s is a town of roughly 1200 people in the Bay St. George Area on the western side of the Island. The oldest town in the Bay St. George area, St. George’s was incorporated in 1965, though its origins stretch back much further having been permanently settled in the 18th century. It remained a fishing village for two centuries and, through its neighboring island of Sandy Point (currently uninhabited), became a commercial center for the west coast of Newfoundland.
Stewardship Zone and Conservation Areas
The community of St. George’s is home to significant wildlife populations, including a large number of birds, rare plants, mammals, and salmon, among others. The Stewardship Zone and Conservation Areas described below were determined to capture some of the most significant wildlife habitat found within the municipal planning boundaries.
The Town of St. George’s is in the St. George’s Bay subregion of the Western Newfoundland Forest ecoregion. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and large salmon rivers to the north and south. The vegetation throughout the region is dominated by balsam fir and black spruce forests. The rocky coastal habitat looks out over the sandy beaches of Sandy Point, while transitioning to large wetland complexes in the inland portion of town. Research of existing databases and field assessments indicate that several formally designated “Species at Risk”, including the Piping plover, Banded killifish, Marginal woodfern, Newfoundland marten, and several “rare” species of plants have been documented within the planning boundaries of the Town. In addition, St. George’s coastline and inland wetland are home to a number of waterfowl, shorebirds, and passerines (songbirds). Significant salmon rivers also run through the Town boundary, which supports a strong angling and fishing tradition in the community.
Sandy Point Stewardship Zone - Sandy Point is a roughly 300 hectare island with cultural and ecological importance to the people of St George’s. Currently uninhabited, this site of a historic settlement has many remaining structures, including recently restored cemetery sites and the beautiful lighthouse. The island is remarkable for its unique geography comprised of tidal flats, salt marshes and sandy beaches which form ideal habitat for a number of bird species, including the endangered Piping Plover as well as provincially rare plants such as Sea lavender and Saltwater cordgrass. Portions of the land on Sandy Point are privately owned, with many of those parcels owned by residents of both St. George’s and Flat Bay. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) purchased 11 properties encompassing 27 hectares on Sandy Point over the years, which form what are known as the NCC Sandy Point Nature Reserve. The NCC properties remain open to the public, though wise use of the areas is encouraged.
Along with the Sandy Point Stewardship Zone, the Town of St. George's have also identified three Conservation Areas within the town's boundaries: Sunset Trail Barachois Pond, Flat Bay Brook and Estuary, and Barachois Brook Bridge.