Garrison Grounds paving

Parks Canada is paving over portions of the Garrison Grounds covered by gravel. (CBC)

A project to pave over the gravel portions of the Garrison Grounds in Halifax is drawing scrutiny from passersby and one local environmental group.

Parks Canada, which runs the grounds, is spending $300,000 on the paving. It says the project will make the area easier to use and draw in more events.

That means bulldozers and backhoes have been hard at work. A visitor experience manager with Parks Canada said the paving is staying within the confines of the gravel footprint that’s existed for 75 years. 

"Right now what we’re doing is hard-surfacing it just to make it more usable so we can host more events and look after them better," Dave Danskin said.

Not everyone agrees with the move, however.

"They’re paving paradise to put up a parking lot," said Paula Costello, citing lyrics from the 1970 hit song by Joni Mitchell.

And Janet Barlow with the Ecology Action Centre said it makes little sense, given the space is supposed to be for people, not cars.

"It means a lot to keep that green space intact," she said. "Expanding a parking lot into that space is counterproductive."