We have a rich tradition of volunteering and community involvement. Volunteers are on the front lines of all of our community services: community health care, heritage and arts, maintenance of green space, disaster relief, volunteer fire-fighting, community protection, recreation, minor sports, etc. – the list is endless. National Volunteer Week (NVW) pays tribute to the millions of Canadian volunteers who donate their time and energy. NVW is the biggest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism this country has. This year, NVW is from April 15th to April 21st, 2013. An annual campaign has been created to help organizations and individuals to deliver their own NVW celebrations. To help you say ‘thank you’ to volunteers, Volunteer Canada has developed programs to access resources and products that can be attained through their web-site: www.volunteer.ca/nvw. Also be sure to check out: www.getvolunteering.ca for information, ideas and inspiration on how to foster more volunteerism in our society. Here are other web-sites you can explore ideas to deliver your own volunteer recognitions. www.recreationns.ns.ca/volunteerawards & www.halifax.ca/volunteerservices/

This year’s theme for Earth Day 2013 is – The Face of Climate Change – as we celebrate its 43rd anniversary with events planned locally and globally. It’s a time to celebrate gains we have made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress. Earth Day should be a time to think about how we can act to better protect our planet. See what you can do on April 22nd at www.earthday.org for events and ideas. Let’s do our best for a cleaner world. Clean Across Nova Scotia ( CANS ) will once again host a clean-up effort across the province on Friday & Saturday April 19th & 20th. This was a preferred time of year for many, as the brush has not yet grown as high, insects are not as much of a nuisance, and it coincides with many groups’ annual Earth Day activities. It is hoped that this new date will work better for the vast majority of participants, and allow even more people to take part. To those of you who may want to know more about the CANS campaign, go to: www.cleanacrossns.ca or on Facebook :  Lets do it! Clean Across Nova Scotia or on Twitter : @CleanAcrossNS or on Pinterest: Clean Across NS or call the CANS Co-ordinator : Neil Bailey 420-7943 at Clean NS – 126 Portland Street, Dartmouth, NS, B2Y 1H8.

You can help define the final plan to manage and protect Nova Scotia’s natural spaces. NS Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) and NS Dept. of Environment have released the draft Parks and Protected Areas Plan (P&PAP). The purpose of this plan is to ensure that future generations have a natural legacy by protecting the most sensitive and important wildlands in the province. The plan also meets the goal of reviewing the province’s parks system, which is included in “The Path We Share”: NS Natural Resources Strategy. The Province wants to protect more than 13% of its lands, surpassing its legislated goal of at least 12%. Currently only about 9.3% of Nova Scotia is protected. Protecting the most important areas for nature and wildlife conservation, as well as providing places for outdoor recreation is important for us all. Nova Scotians have until May 1st to review and comment on the document. Feedback will help shape the final plan. For information about the draft P&PAP, please go to: www.novascotia.ca/parksandprotectedareas. Send written submissions and comments to: Parks & Protected Areas Plan – NS Dept. of Environment, PO Box 442, Halifax, NS B3J 2R7. Public participation is also welcome at the open-house sessions on Wednesday, April 3rd at the Sheet Harbour Lions Club or Tuesday, April 9th at Pier 21 in Halifax from 2-5 PM and 6-9 PM each day. Please provide your opinions on the future use of our parks and wilderness in NS.

HRM can help some non-profit organizations reduce their level of property tax through its Tax Exemption for Non-Profit Organizations Program. This program is available only to actively registered non-profit and charitable organizations located within the boundary of HRM. Registration is confirmed as part of the review process. Under HRM By-law T-229 there are 3 types of Tax Exemption Status: Conversion from Commercial Tax Rate to Residential Tax Rate; Partial Tax Exemption Reduction to 25%, 50 % or 75% levels of the Residential Rate; or complete full 100% Tax Exemption Status. Should you require further information concerning this program, or to obtain a copy of the program newsletter, Application form for new applicants & renewal form, go to: www.halifax.ca/boardscom/bccgrants/TaxExemptionsforNon-ProfitOrganziations.html . Here is a list of local organizations that are currently receiving some sort of property tax exemption:

100% Tax Exempt Status & Value of Exemption

Nova Scotia Black Cultural Centre – $57,887.48

Chezzetcook & District Lions Club – $6,228.12

E-Shore Ground Search & Rescue – $3,829.99

Eastern Shore Wildlife Association – $4,294.09

Harbour Lites Seniors Club – $3,756.85

Lake Charlotte’s Heritage Village – $13,637.98

Lawrencetown Community Centre – $3,999.00

Moser River’s McMann House – $414.17

Moser River Community Centre – $1,660.80

Musquodoboit Hbr Railway Museum – $1,430.58

North Ship Harbour Community Hall – $927.35

Ostrea Lake Wharf Preservation Society – $300.

Porters Lake’s Old Hall Museum – $1,167.18

Seaforth Community Hall – $4,659.13

Sheet Harbour Rockets Clubhouse – $816.85

Sheet Harbour Snowmobile Club – $7,155.24

L’Acadie du Chezzetcook Museum – $1,993.74

Association of Special Needs Recreation Musquodoboit Harbour – $857.60

Lawrencetown’s MacDonald House – $14,420.66

Sheet Harbour’s MacPhee House – Tax Free Lease on HRM West River Main Street property

75% Tax Exempt Status & Value of Exemption

East Preston Day Care

$7,825.80 – ( 75% ) $7,092.05 = $733.75 net tax

North Preston Day Care

$4,060.65 – ( 75% ) $3,713.07 = $347.59 net tax

Conversion from Commercial to Residential Rate

Musquodoboit Hbr. Old School Gathering Place:

From $3,601.77 to $1,560.54 = $2,041.23 saved

Musquodoboit Harbour District Lions:

From $5,541.92 to $2,052.17 = $3,489.74 saved

Petpeswick Yacht Club:

From $5,469.12 to $2,025.22 = $3,443.90 saved

The fire season normally begins on April 15th, whereby NS burning permits will be required. Provincial Burning Permits can be obtained from local NS Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) offices and some HRM Fire Stations. Domestic burning permits cost $5.71. Industrial permits cost $57.16. For more information, please go to : www.gov.ns.ca/natr/forestprotection/wildfire/burning‑permits.asp . However; free Municipal Burning Permits are required all year round and can be obtained from some of the HRM Fire Station in District 2. For info, go to this web-site: www.halifax.ca/fireprevention/OpenAirBurning.html. Be sure to follow all instructions and rules of conduct as outlined on those permits and please be respectful of your neighbours when you want to burn. Be cognizant of those with any sensitivity that can be impacted by smoke.

2013    HRM    INTERIM    TAX    BILLS
HRM sends tax bills to all property owners twice a year. The Interim bill was mailed mid-March and will become due on April 30th. The final bill will be due by October 31st.. If you have any enquiries about your tax bill, please call the HRM Contact Centre at 311 or go to: www.halifax.ca/revenue/tax/ for more details.

Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) is a movement to improve the quality of sport and physical activity for everyone, from infancy through all phases of adulthood. CS4L links sport, education, recreation and health and aligns community, provincial and national programming. Please see https://www.canadiansportforlife.ca/ for more details. One of CS4L programs is “Active for Life” (A4L). It is the place where parents go to learn about activities for kids. Go to https://activeforlife.ca/. Physical education leads to physical literacy, which is critical for child development. Physical literacy also gives active kids the best chance to someday compete in high-performance sports. Kids’ activities are organized by age and gender, so parents can find fun and engaging ways of making sure their children get the recommended daily amount of physical activity. Activities for toddlers are aimed at the development of fundamental movement skills, while activities for children build on the fundamentals to establish more complex sport skills that can be used to play any number of sports and activities. Exercises for kids enhance their physical development. In the early stages of child growth, early childhood development is dependent on appropriate exercises for children. SportNS and local volunteers are organizing an Eastern Shore – Musquodoboit Valley Sports Summit on Saturday, May 25th at the Eastern Shore Community Centre & Rink in Musquodoboit Harbour. It will be a family sport festival whereby adults, youth and parents with kids of any age can come by and try out a host of sports and activities. Local minor sports and organizations that promote healthy life-style activities will have information booths and demonstrations to educate, encourage, engage and hopefully enlist your participation. Come by and have some good ole healthy fun! Remember that active kids play is good for kids health. If you or an organization would like to be a part of this exciting event, please contact Andrew Ling at SportNS Community Sport Development Coordinator – Central Region (HRM) 14th Floor Barrington Tower – 1894 Barrington Street, Halifax, NS, B3J 2R8. Phone: 722-1459 or E-mail: aling@sportnovascotia.ca .

Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week is May 5th – 11th. Everyone should be prepared and able to take care of themselves for a 72 hour period from any potential harm caused by a significant weather event or incident. Our district is very fortunate to have two Joint Emergency Management (JEM) Teams: Eastern Shore JEM (Cole Harbour to Ship Harbour) and Sheet Harbour JEM (East Ship Harbour to Ecum Secum). For more details about them, please go to: www.halifax.ca/EMO/jems.html. On Saturday May 4th, 10 AM – 1 PM, the seventh annual ‘JEM Jamboree’ will be at the Porters Lake Atlantic Superstore parking lot. Their plan is to continue promoting its efforts in emergency preparedness, training & community readiness. Our JEM Teams are looking for volunteers. There are plans to host a JEM Open-house on Saturday, May 11th from 1-4 PM at the ESGSAR Building – # 5688 Hwy #7 in Head Chezzetcook.

Here are more web-sites about EP information: