Families throughout the South Shore will have more opportunities to be active thanks to the province’s recreation facility development grant program. Nova Scotia Health Promotion is investing $221,130 in sport and recreation facilities in the South Shore as part of a provincewide investment of $2.6 million. The grants will be used to build, upgrade and repair community physical recreation facilities. “Our goal is to get more people physically active throughout the province and ultimately improve the health of all Nova Scotians,” said Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald. “Research tells us that people are more active when they have access to safe sport and recreation facilities.” Community groups work with health promotion staff to develop their projects and apply for funding. The recreation facility development grant program provides up to one-third of a project’s capital cost and communities are responsible for raising the rest. As a result of this investment, the province will see about $15-million worth of construction by 82 organizations. One of the grants awarded in the South Shore will help Parkview Education Centre with soccer field and outdoor track improvements. The school is receiving a $100,000 grant, to be paid over three years. “Although this is located on school property it really was a community initiative,” said Jeff DeWolfe, principal of Parkview Education Centre. “Soccer is a huge sport in our county and the available fields simply did not meet the demand. This grant will enable more children to be active.” Mr. DeWolfe said the improvements also create new opportunities for other sports such as rugby, field hockey and football. “Our committee received overwhelming support from the community and we are excited by the opportunities this presents,” he said. “With the improvements made to the track and field our county is able to host numerous sporting events bringing in participants from across the province.” Grants available through the recreation facility development program are provided based on common criteria, such as community need and benefits, the level of planning and preparation, stability and past success of the organization, and resourcefulness and partnerships resulting in other funding commitments. The grant program helps municipalities and community groups plan, construct, renovate, conserve or acquire facilities for public recreation purposes. Projects eligible for assistance include community centres, pools, sport facilities, parks, playgrounds, trails and other outdoor recreation facilities.