5100 Westfield Road, Saint John, New Brunswick, E5K, Canada
Blueberry Hill Nature Preserve
Blueberry Hill réserve naturelle
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Blueberry Hill is a 19.7 ha. nature preserve that primarily consists of woods and fields bordered by the Town of Grand Bay-Westfield and the Saint John River. Owned and maintained by the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, Blueberry Hill is a popular spot for bird watching, hiking and other forms of outdoor recreation. Public access to the preserve is off the Shannon Road in Grand Bay-Westfield.
Blueberry Hill is designated as a local historic place for its ecological significance as a valued natural landscape. Blueberry Hill contains a large wetland complex and a shrub wetland comprised of young red ash, mountain ash, and speckled alder. Other features include open fields in various states of forest regeneration, a brook (Henderson Brook), and a sloping hillside to the Grand Bay/Saint John River shoreline that is covered by a mature red spruce forest. Botanical surveys have identified more than 178 species of plants, including the threatened species Anticosti Aster (Aster anticostensis). Blueberry Hill’s ecological attributes were key for its recognition as the Blueberry Hill Nature Preserve.
Another reason for designation as a local historic place is that preservation of the area was identified as a priority by local citizens. As one of the few remaining undeveloped large properties in the area, this unique and special place is a popular destination that offers simple enjoyment and supports recreational, community, and tourism values of the preserve. Progress toward restoration and protection has been the result of several years of dedicated work and planning by interest groups, including the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the Friends of Blueberry Hill, Ducks Unlimited, the Town of Grand Bay-Westfield, and the City of Saint John. In 2009 the environmental integrity of Henderson Brook was restored, the first of many planned projects for preservation and maintenance.
Blueberry Hill is also designated as a local historic place for its historic significance which resides in the visible remnants of the Stevens Family farmhouse and other features. Built in the early 1800s near the top of the hill by the Stevens family, the property on “Stevens Hill” once contained orchards of plum, pear, and apple and crops such as oats and hay. Livestock including pigs, cows, and sheep were kept. Contributing to the historical significance are fragments of an Old Post Road, formerly part of the stagecoach route between Saint John and Fredericton.
Prior to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis the property was used as a quarantine area for cattle which were sold to Cuba, transported by ship from Saint John.
The character defining elements of the Blueberry Hill associated with its ecological significance include:
• ecological features such as wetlands, Henderson Brook, and a variety of trees and other plant species;
• Its associative value as a recreational area, with hiking trails and bird habitat;
• Its associative value as a symbol of cooperation among various interest groups;
• Its setting on the Saint John River and its location on the border of Grand Bay-Westfield and Saint John.
The character defining elements of the Blueberry Hill associated with its historic significance include:
• remnants of the Stevens Family farmhouse, including a pathway and clearing where the farmhouse stood;
• evidence of an Old Post Road.
Local Governments (NB)
Heritage Conservation Act
Local Historic Place (municipal)
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Civic Space
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John
Cross-Reference to Collection