Families across the Highland region will have more opportunities to be physically active thanks to the province’s annual recreation facility development grant program. Barry Barnet, Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, announced today, April 26, investments totaling $299,000 for the Highland region. The investment is part of the annual $3-million provincewide grant program. “Investing in sport and recreation facilities is part of our overall strategy to make Nova Scotians healthier and help reduce the demand on our health-care system,” said Mr. Barnet. The grants will be used to build and upgrade playground equipment, construct a community centre, renovate a number of baseball fields and an indoor volleyball court, develop a fitness centre, and improve other facilities throughout the region. Community groups work with Health Promotion and Protection staff to develop projects and apply for funding. The recreation facility development grant program provides up to one-third of capital costs; communities are responsible for raising the rest. The program will help create about $14.5 million in construction through 84 organizations. “Our goal is to make Nova Scotia the healthiest province in the country,” said Mr. Barnet. “We can not do this alone. I congratulate the many volunteers that recognized a need in their communities and worked so hard to build the support and make it a reality.” Grants through the recreation facility development program are provided based on criteria such as community need and benefit, the amount of planning and preparation, sustainability, and other funding commitments. The grant program helps municipalities and community groups plan, construct, renovate, conserve or acquire facilities for public recreation. Eligible projects include community centres, pools, sport facilities, parks, playgrounds, trails and other outdoor facilities.