Story by TINA HENNIGAR
It was a leap of faith that landed Melissa and Matt Duggan exactly where they needed to be. The high cost of living led them to make the move from Alberta to Lunenburg County. Melissa described walking around Lunenburg with her toddler thinking, ‘there doesn’t seem to be any young families around.’ She worried and even wondered if they could make a life here. “Within six months that opinion changed. We met amazing young families and fell in love with this community.” Melissa found her place by putting herself out there – going to mom and baby groups, and simply talking to other moms at the park.
At first they struggled to find a place to rent, so Melissa contacted someone whose house had been on the market for a while and asked if they’d consider renting it to the young family. They did and eventually the Duggans bought that very same house. “We absolutely love where we live. We love the street. We love our neighbours,” Melissa said of their home. There was only one thing missing in their community, so Melissa and a group of other young parents got together and decided to build it.
“We wanted to create a splash pad in the town, something that wasn’t just for tourists, a place accessible to everyone, a place to bring families together.” Planning and fundraising is well underway, and soon Melissa hopes to see kids splashing away in a safe and fun park overlooking Lunenburg’s iconic harbour. Melissa has recruited others to the community from out West as well, including her mother. “I’m so passionate about where we live and I want to see it grow,” she shared. “It’s part of my personality to take on a number of different roles.” Not only is she an entrepreneur who owns Mighty Oak Essentials, a chemical free way to take care of herself and her family, but she also works with Mighty Wee Websites.
Melissa has decided to enter politics and put herself out there as a candidate in our next municipal election. “I love the idea of working as part of a team to make this entire community better. We have what it takes.”