Grant will help Salem and Area Recreation Association revitalize field

The Municipality of Pictou County (MOPC) has granted $28,882.40 to help with the ongoing field development work of the Salem & Area Recreation Association (S.A.R.A.).
The former Salem ball field has sat largely unused for much of the last 20 years, but thanks to the effort of dedicated volunteers it is undergoing a renewal.
With large in-kind and monetary donations from a volunteer as well as a local building supply dealer, S.A.R.A. recently finished constructing a new gazebo, dedicated in memory of longtime resident Beatrice Hatch. The gazebo was used as the stage for the organization’s Music in the Park Fundraiser on July 30th.
Now the group is taking its next steps with plans to add a walking track around the field, expand and update the playground and add a washroom and storage facility on site.
S.A.R.A. Chair David Patterson said the dream of creating a multi-use community greenspace would not have been possible without the support from the MOPC.
“The grant and support from Warden (Robert) Parker and Clare Steele, Active Communities Coordinator has helped in many ways and greatly appreciated,” Patterson said.
Warden Robert Parker, who is also the council representative for District 6, praised the efforts of the volunteers.
“It took some time and effort, but eventually we found a strong group of diligent volunteers who had a dream to turn the old ball field into a large recreational area for all ages to serve, not just Salem, but also many surrounding communities,” Parker said.
He said typically the MOPC provides financial help through Municipal Service Grants, which are ideal for small projects, but some projects require more substantial backing to get off the ground. To help with these projects, the MOPC established the Community Connectivity Fund, which is providing money to four projects this year including the Salem field.
S.A.R.A. is also receiving support from the Province of Nova Scotia for the redevelopment
“S.A.R.A. will make great advances this summer and fall thanks to hard-working volunteers and the contribution of taxpayer dollars,” Parker said.
More volunteers are always needed and welcomed for the project. You can find out more by following Salem & Area Recreation Association on Facebook.

Photo info: Warden Robert Parker (front, right) recently presented a cheque for $28,882.40 to the Salem and Area Recreation Association.