MILFORD: Volunteers with he Milford Recreation Association (MRA) had plenty of reason to smile on Saturday during Celebration Day for the organization in Milford.
That’s because they unveiled a significant milestone for the MRA, made possible through the “unwavering support and generous assistance” from the Province of Nova Scotia, and the Municipality of East Hants.
“With great excitement and profound gratitude, we unveil the completion of our ambitious Net Zero Project that has transformed our beloved recreation area into an even more vibrant and inviting space for all,” announced MRA Borad chairwoman Colleen Smith to the small crowd gathered inside the Milford Rec Hall.
Smith said because of Kings-Hants MP Kody Blois the MRA’s vision became a reality.
“He delivered our vision to the Province of Nova Scotia and we were able to further the project goals through Nova Scotia Community, Culture and Heritage and the Municipality of East Hants,” she said. “Through this funding we were able to install a 45-kW solar system that makes the MRA a net zero facility.
“We were also able to update our hall with much needed energy efficiencies including new windows, lighting, heat pumps and waterproofing our basement.
“To complete this project we installed security cameras and fencing to keep our assets safe.”
She said on top of this project, another initiative that the MRA volunteers took on to further the greening of the facility was to complete a water recovery initiative which collects the hall’s roof rainwater and stores it in two large cisterns which is then pumped back into the hall for flushing toilets.
“This will greatly reduce water demand from our well and precious community aquifer, this is especially important during large gatherings such as the Milford Meltdown,” said Smith.
Two long years after the project began and thanks to the Municipality of East Hants, District Recreation Funding, the MRA has been able to finalize the project and cover the hall basement in beautiful siding, providing essential protection and durability to our facilities.
“This upgrade ensures that we can continue to offer a safe and enjoyable environment for recreational activities and gatherings for our community members of all ages,” said Smith. “In addition to the siding, we are overjoyed to share that the project has allowed us to introduce two brand new picnic tables and three benches to our property.”
She said these additions are designed to enhance the overall experience at the Milford Recreation Area, encouraging more outdoor interactions, socializing, and creating cherished memories with family and friends.
Smith said the MRA has also received funding from the provincial Communities, Culture and Heritage Active Communities Program to install a “play box” which will be stocked with various equipment that the community can access, free of charge.
Smith said last but not least, because of provincial support and that from MEH’s Emergency Services the MRA is now able to serve the community as a designated comfort centre.
“We have been able to install a commercial generator which will power the MRA during a power outage,’ said Smith. “During an emergency, the MRA can be opened for use of washroom facilities, a warming centre, a place to charge your devices and grab a coffee/tea and gather with the community.”
She said during the past five years through the various funding programs, more than $400,000 has been invested into the community of Milford all managed through the efforts of the MRA’s dedicated Board (past and current) and community volunteers.
“As we stand here today, we reflect on the journey that has brought us to this momentous occasion,’ said Smith. “The MRA has always been dedicated to serving the needs and aspirations of our community.
“With this project, we are taking a significant step towards a brighter and more inclusive future.”