Members of the Three Churches Foundation in Mahone Bay, N.S. are hoping their new unique way to raise money to preserve the community's iconic churches will pay off.

The exteriors of the three churches are repainted every three years.

Members of the foundation say, due to the churches' natural surroundings, more work needs to be done to preserve the historic buildings.

“Those sea winds and that salty air, it takes its toll on these beautiful old buildings,” said Lee Simpson, Three Churches Foundation chair and United Church minister. “They require constant painting.”

Repainting the exterior of all three churches can be a pricey job, costing anywhere between five to six figures.

The group that takes care of the churches hopes to help with that cost through the use of new ‘kindness parking meters’ they installed, where you can donate at your own will.

“Mahone Bay provides free parking and parking comes at a cost,” said Three Churches Foundation board member Lynn Hennigar. “So if you’re enjoying our community and enjoying the view, if you could throw a few dollars into our parking meter, then you help us preserve what you’re looking at.”

So far, there are three parking meters placed in parking lots with a view of the three churches, with plans for three more meters to be installed by the summer months.

Locals who work in the tourism industry say there’s a lot of potential to collect extra funds during their peak tourism season in July and August.

“I know at the visitors' centre, we typically get around 20,000 people coming through in a summer.  And the whole town, on July 1, it seems that’s the day that the light switch goes on,” said Karen Pinsent of the Mahone Bay Chamber of Commerce.

The Three Churches Foundation’s main goal is to raise money for the facade of the historic churches.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau