FREDERICTON (GNB) – Nearly $700,000 has been allocated for upgrades to the Johnson and Tingley ball fields in Fredericton.

“Our residents flourish when they have facilities that promote physical activity and provide access to recreational programs,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green. “These fields have been well-used over the years, and it is exciting to see them being upgraded for the future and for better accessibility.”

Green spoke on behalf of Environment and Climate Change Minister Gary Crossman, who is also minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation.

The funding will help the City of Fredericton purchase and install energy-efficient LED lighting systems and accessible bleachers. These improvements will help the city meet the rising demand for field time and improve accessibility.

“Updating and improving shared outdoor spaces contributes to the vitality of our communities,” said Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin. “Today’s investment in the ball fields on Fredericton’s north side will enhance existing public infrastructure, improve local events and bring positive economic benefits to the region.”

Atwin attended for federal Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, who is also minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The provincial government and the city will each provide $250,000 for the project, while the federal government will contribute $199,500 through ACOA.

“The City of Fredericton thanks the Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick for their contribution towards the lighting of the Johnston and Tingley ball fields, as well as new accessible bleachers,” said Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers. “The installation of lighting was a recommendation of our Fredericton Ball Field Study and extends the usage of the two ball fields, especially in the shoulder seasons, while increasing access to the sport for all ages.”