Twice a year the Cobequid Community Health Board awards grants to worthwhile organizations and charitable groups in Sackville and surrounding areas that support health and wellness in their community. Thirteen groups benefited in the spring and now the board is looking to dole out a second set of funds to winning applicants.
This spring the Second Lake Regional Park Association was awarded $2,500 to go towards installing benches along the trail at Second Lake in Lower Sackville. Association co-chair Sandy Wirtanen said it's likely the benches would never have been built if not for the development funds.
"These benches are a very important addition to our trails," she said. "People are using them to take a break when walking and they are using them to enjoy the scenery. We receive money from HRM, but that goes toward building and maintenance. There never seems to be enough money for extras like this."
The board takes applicants from Beaver Bank, Bedford, Fall River, Hammonds Plains, Lower and Middle Sackville, Stillwater Lake, Upper Sackville and Waverley.
Board vice-chair John Sparkes said the maximum amount of money awarded is $5,000. The idea behind this is to spread the wealth.
"We spread it around to more groups, giving a little instead of one getting it all."
The development funds program is funded by Capitol Health and the provincial health department.
"Our goal is to promote healthy and active lifestyles for people in the communities," said Sparkes. "We are looking for groups that deal with physical activity, healthy eating ...t hose types of things."
Sparkes said information has been mailed out to groups, and there are posters all around the communities.
"We want to get as many applicants as we can," he said.
Recipients will be awarded in January and a celebration is planned in the spring.
There will be approximately $35,000 awarded this year. Winning applicants are chosen by the volunteer Cobequid Community Health Board members.
"We'll be applying again," said Wirtanen. "We want more benches and additions to our trails. It's an on-going project."