Government is supporting three new sustainable transportation projects in the St. Margarets Bay, Lewis Lake and Hubbards areas of Halifax Regional Municipality that help connect residents to community hubs and promote active living. Timberlea and Prospect MLA Iain Rankin, on behalf of Energy Minister Michel Samson, announced today, Aug. 29, that local sustainable transportation projects will receive funding from the province’s sustainable transportation grant program, Connect2. “Our multi-use trails provide so much enjoyment for individuals and families and it’s great to see work happening to maintain and improve them,” said Mr. Rankin. “Active transportation options are an essential part of connectivity for these communities and for everyone who use the Rails to Trails system and beyond.” With a $50,000 grant from Connect2 and $50,000 from the Off Highway Vehicle Infrastructure Fund, Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust, with the help of the Safety-minded ATV Association, will continue infrastructure work in the Five Bridges Lake Area and towards Goodwood. “Five Bridges is excited to be able to continue working with our partners to make improvements to our local trail systems,” said Harry Ward, chair, Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust. “This will support community members’ ability to enjoy larger areas of our wilderness, now and into the future.” St. Margarets Bay Area Rails to Trails Association will receive $35,000 through Connect2 and additional funding of $25,000 from Halifax Regional Municipality, $9,699.89 from Mountain Equipment Co-op, and $40,000 from Off Highway Vehicles Infrastructure Fund. The association also received a $40,000 Recreation Facility Development Grant earlier this year from the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage to resurface and regrade about six kilometres of trail and to make upgrades to Round Lake Bridge, Pipeline Bridge and Indian River Bridge. The grants help build sport and recreation facilities such as trails, parks and arenas, swimming pools, ball fields and skateboard parks to help Nova Scotians make physical and community activities part of their daily lives. “The St. Margarets Bay Area Rails to Trails Association is delighted to have Nova Scotia Department of Energy Connect2 Program as a funding partner for the improvements to our 32 kilometre trail,” said Anne Patrick, chair of St. Margarets Bay Area Rails to Trails Association. “This will provide the only active transportation connection between eight communities from Lewis Lake to Hubbards.” Aspotogan Heritage Trust Society will receive $4,663 through Connect2 and $2,482 and an $870 in-kind contribution from Municipality of the District of Chester to create a new pathway from the corner of Highways 3 and 329 to the trailhead of the Aspotogan Trail. “We recognize that sidewalks can be a significant capital investment,” said Kathryn Gamache, executive director Aspotogan Heritage Trust Society. “That is why we are pleased to have been able to propose a less costly, yet equally safe and functional connection solution for moving people thorough this hub location in Hubbards.” Connect2 aims to create and promote active transportation options for trips of two kilometres or less between community hubs in rural and urban parts of the province. More projects will be announced in the coming weeks, and all will be completed by March 10, 2017. For more information, visit http://novascotia.ca/sustainabletransportation/.