An invitation to take part

Parks Canada is reviewing its management objectives and strategies for Ardgowan National Historic Site and we want to hear from you. We will be holding public consultations until June 21, 2019. We encourage you to take part in this process by sharing your ideas and thoughts.

The purpose of these consultations is to give the public, Indigenous communities, municipality, partners, and community stakeholders an opportunity to get involved in the decision-making process of managing a national historic site.

The management statement will guide the governance of this historic site over the next ten years. It will provide direction for the protection of cultural and natural resources as well as for visitor experience, outreach, and education.

Parks Canada’s Mandate

On behalf of the people of Canada, we protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment in ways that ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of these places for present and future generations.

Context

Ardgowan National Historic Site is located in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in a residential neighbourhood two kilometres from the city centre. It was the home of William Henry Pope, one of the Fathers of Confederation at the time of the Charlottetown Conference of 1864. A keen gardener, Pope created lavish grounds around his substantial and ornate Victorian cottage-style house with outbuildings on his 31-hectare (76-acre) property.

In 1966, Ardgowan was recognised as a site of national historic importance, as the “symbolic home of a Father of Confederation in Prince Edward Island.”  The property was acquired by the federal government in 1967, at a time when the house was badly deteriorated and only about two hectares remained of the original estate. A major rehabilitation of the house’s exterior and grounds was completed between 1980 and 1982, restoring them to their 1860s appearance in keeping with the time period of the Confederation debates.

The largely rebuilt interior of the house was adapted for use as office space for Parks Canada staff. Office space was added in 1994 with the reconstruction of the east wing of the house, which had been removed prior to 1966. Since then, the house has accommodated the administrative functions of the Prince Edward Island Field Unit. The interior of the house is not open for tours, but visitors can enjoy the grounds and gardens and learn more about the history of Ardgowan National Historic Site of Canada via a brochure and interpretive panels on site.

Past Management Strategies

In the past, extensive management plans were required for all national historic sites. Four years ago, Parks Canada changed the planning process to allow for more flexibility for sites with less complex management requirements.  Plans for sites such as Ardgowan National Historic Site are now directed through management statements.
Management statement are strategic, shorter in length, and results-oriented. They include key strategies and goals, outlining a basic level of management that is not anticipated to change. They do not require a vision or strategic direction.

They guide management decisions and actions at heritage places, and serve as key accountability documents to Indigenous peoples and Canadians. These statements are one-page documents that often require ministerial approval and tabling in Parliament, as is the case with the Ardgowan NHS management statement.

Management goals are developed through consultation and input from various people and organizations, including Indigenous peoples, local residents, visitors, stakeholders and partners as well as the dedicated team at Parks Canada.

Proposed Management Approach

Parks Canada's aim is to continue on the management path established for Ardgowan National Historic Site, which will remain a protected heritage site dedicated to learning and enjoyment. Its intention is to protect and present the historic importance of the house and grounds and to have the site serve as a gathering place for the community and the greater public. With its central location, Parks Canada will also continue to use the building as administrative offices.

Proposed Management Goals

Resource Conservation: Parks Canada protects the cultural resources at its heritage places in accordance with its Cultural Resource Management Policy and the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. To maintain the site's integrity, the purpose of Ardgowan National Historic Site is to preserve cultural resources for current and future generations. These efforts include the continued oversight and maintenance of cultural resources, the implementation of rehabilitation and preservation initiatives, as well as the documentation of on-site initiatives.
 
Public understanding, awareness and enjoyment: Parks Canada aims to effectively convey the historic importance of Ardgowan by welcoming visitors to the site grounds. The site will focus its efforts on non-personal media and site amenities for visitor understanding, awareness and enjoyment. 
 
Building relationships with partners and stakeholders: The PEI Field Unit will look to build relationships with partners and stakeholders in order to increase the use of the grounds as a gathering place to be used for events and activities. These relationships will provide opportunities for a greater number of Canadians to enjoy and become aware of the site.
 
Site maintenance: Parks Canada will continue to maintain this property in a way that supports the site's heritage value, presents a positive image to the public and affirms Parks Canada's brand.

Strategic environmental assessment

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (2010), a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all management statements tabled in Parliament. The SEA for the Ardgowan NHS assessed the potential effects on natural and cultural resources and visitor experience. The SEA concluded that the proposed management statement for Ardgowan NHS would have positive effects on cultural resources and visitor experience. Potential environmental effects on vegetation and migratory birds were identified but the effects can be mitigated through project-level impact assessments when necessary.  The statement supports the federal sustainable development strategy goal of connecting Canadians with nature. 

There are no important negative environmental effects anticipated from management statement implementation. 

What do you think?

The present document summarizes and presents the site, its managerial goals and strategies. Now it’s your turn to take part in the discussion! Here is your chance to add to the conversation and help us develop Ardgowan National Historic Site’s management statement. Your knowledge of the area, your experience with the site, and the future you envision for it are important to us.

How to take part

We would like to hear your views, opinions and suggestions on the future of this treasured place. Please send your comments to us at pc.Ardgowan.pc@canada.ca by June 21, 2019 or by mail to: 

Public Consultations – Ardgowan NHS
Parks Canada Agency
2 Palmers Lane
Charlottetown, PE C1A 5V8

Please do not hesitate to contact us at 902-566-7050 if you have any questions or would like further information on the public consultation.

Thank you for your cooperation!