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$51,000 in Community Wellness Grants handed out

Kids First Family Resource Centre was this year’s recipient of the Ed Bowden Community Wellness Award for their community garden project.

Ed Bowden’s daughter Michelle Bowden presents the Ed Bowden Community Wellness Award on Monday to Kimberly Byrne, chair of the board of directors for Kids First. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS

The award was presented Monday during a ceremony held at Kids First.

The Community Health Board wellness grant enabled Kids First to purchase seeds and other supplies to simply plant a garden in a rural community that would be harvested and shared with families, and used in food mentoring programs.

“It means a lot,” Kimberly Byrne, chair of the board of directors for Kids First on receiving the award. “There were so many outcomes that weren’t written in the proposal but were felt by the community and by our staff and everyone at large. The connection to community and that level of partnership is so important in all the work we do. It’s an honour and I think this project shows the complete circle of connection that’s possible with seed money as we say.”

Debby Turner was one of the Kids First employees directly involved with the project. She said the garden was in Green Hill this year on land provided by Christensen’s. She said it was a great learning opportunity to bring in carrots for instance fresh from the garden with the dirt still on them and then wash them and give them to the kids to show them exactly where their food comes from.

“You made them from scratch,” one of the kids said.

Also at the event, this year’s recipients of $51,000 in Community Health Board Wellness Funds were presented.

The funds are provided by the Department of Health and Wellness to support community initiatives that encourage healthy living. In the past nine years, community health boards have allocated more than $400,000 in wellness grants to community organizations.

The Ed Bowden Community Wellness Award was developed by the Pictou West and Central/East Pictou Community Health Boards in consultation with family members to celebrate the many accomplishments of Ed Bowden, following his death five years ago.

Bowden was the first chair of the Central/East Pictou Community Health Board in 1996 and was a key participant in the development of the health authority’s first community health plan. He was a member of the board of directors for the Pictou County Health Authority until his death.


This year’s recipients are

• District One Development Society – District One rink

• Garden of Eden Community Club – Community ball field

• Karen Lynn MacDonald Allergy Awareness

• Let Abilities Work Partnership – Local participation activities, wheelchair curling

• Lismore District Community Hall – Ramp for hall

• Dr. W.A. MacLeod Consolidated School – Fitness room enhancements

• Maranatha Bible Church Community Cupboard Support Network – Mentorship Leading to Leadership

• Pictou County Health Authority Mental Health Services – New Hope Art Mentorship Day, Early Psychosis/Laing House Link Up and Youth Connection Program

• Multicultural Association of Pictou County – Physical Activity Program

• New Glasgow Academy – Recreational Swimming and Cooking

• Pictou County Babies to Boosters – Save seats for Pictou County kids

• Pictou County 4-H Leaders Council – 4-H’ers Glide, Throw and Splash Program

• Pictou County Basketball Association – Basketball Outreach – No Child Shall Sit Out

• Pictou County Continuous Learning Association – Embrace Healthy Living Through Improved Literacy

• Pictou Landing Powwow Committee – Pictou Landing First Nation 24th Annual Powwow

• Town of Pictou Recreation and Parks – Active for Life Program

• River John Action Society – Cooking with kids

• River John and Area Recreation – Meals on Wheels

• River John Consolidated School – Summer soccer, summer school and swim program

• North Nova Education Centre – Get Active and Have Fun in Pictou County

• Town of New Glasgow – Open gym night

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