Lunenburg, NS – Sept 12, 2016: The Lunenburg County Community Fund (LCCF) is pleased to announce a one million dollar ($1,000,000.00) gift to the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) to support the clean-up of the LaHave River.

The official announcement and cheque presentation is being held today at 10:30am at the Miller Point Peace Park with members of the community, Municipality and special guests in attendance.

This major gift demonstrates the significant impact that collaboration and local philanthropy can have on issues of importance to communities in Nova Scotia. According to Elspeth McLean-Wile, Board Member of the LCCF and Chair of the NOW Lunenburg County initiative, local citizens and groups like Bluenose Coastal Action Group have championed concern and action around the LaHave River clean-up for several years. She says “we are particularly delighted to strike an agreement with the municipality to partner on addressing community issues. We think this represents a new way of collaborating to get things done in the community”. The LCCF is excited to be part of such a significant local action for the future of our community.

Don Downe, Mayor of the MODL says that the LaHave River clean-up is a major infrastructure project for the local community. The support from the LCCF is significant for its size and capacity to leverage additional funding for the clean-up, as well as for “how it demonstrates the potential impact of all levels of government and local citizen groups”. He says, “as a resident and Mayor, I am looking forward to the LaHave River playing a greater role in the lives of local residents and the experiences of visitors to our community”.

The Municipal Council voted to apply for Infrastructure Canada’s Building Canada Fund to help fund the $17 million dollar project. The project will replace 600 straight pipes releasing 600,000 litres of raw sewage per day into the lower parts of the LaHave River. Any project costs not covered by grants will be paid by the homeowners receiving the new system.  The Municipality also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Provincial department of the environment in July which will ensure that all straight pipes on the Lower Lahave will be identified and replaced with functioning septic systems.

Angela Bishop, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia (CFNS), says it’s been exciting to work with the leadership of the LCCF on this major gift and sees this as a great example of the impact that a local community fund can have on responding to local needs. Bishop says that this is an “important demonstration of the power of philanthropy for Nova Scotian communities”.

Lunenburg County Community Fund gives $1M to LaHave River clean-up