MANGANESE MINES - A community asset has been preserved for the next generation through a new 25-year lease agreement for Gittens Lodge.
Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation and the Nova Scotia Community College Truro Campus signed the agreement and held a ceremony Tuesday at the Manganese Mines site.
"The lodge is an important place for our recreation leadership students to experience and learn about outdoor recreation as well as connect with community organizations," said NSCC Truro Campus principal Kevin Quinlan.
The concept for Gittens Lodge was created in 1969 by Nova Scotia Teachers College faculty members Ted Gittens and Verl Short. Their vision was to have an environmental science centre for youth and teachers studying outdoor education.
The land was secured through a lease agreement with Scott Paper, now Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation, and the lodge was completed in 1973 using lumber supplied by Scott Paper and through support from other businesses. The 20,000-square foot lodge is located on 600 acres of land that borders the Salmon River.
"This is an important place for youth in our community and students from NSCC Truro Campus to be able to experience outdoor recreation and to learn about our environment," said Northern Pulp CEO Wayne Gosse.
The lodge is used by about 1,500 children and 150 adults each year as an overnight stay is an annual treat for many organizations, including Girl Guides, Scouts and other youth groups.
"You can't help but feel the warmth and hear the laughter from the people who have been here before you," said Jillian Comeau, a second-year NSCC recreation leadership student from Meteghan. "If these walls could speak, the stories they would tell us."