Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet Recreation Needs & Facilities Assessment report is now available for viewing.
The entire 126-page report can be found here: Recreation Needs & Facilities Assessment Report
The appendices can be found here: Recreation Needs & Facilities Assessment Report Appendices
Below is a brief overview of the report.
Overview and purpose of the Assessment
The Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet recognizes that recreation is an essential public service for growing healthy, vibrant, and connected communities. Recreation is a powerful tool for advancing a wide range of municipal objectives including public health, community belonging, neighbourhood development, culture and heritage, tourism and economic growth, and greenspace enhancement.
Therefore, the RM commissioned HTFC Planning & Design to undertake an extensive assessment of recreation in the RM and to provide a framework for recreation and community facility planning and decision-making.
The Assessment includes community priorities of residents in the region as determined in an online survey and focus groups, addresses new trends shaping recreation habits and municipal governance, and alignment with the existing municipal and provincial planning frameworks.
The Assessment objectives outlined in the Request for Proposal included:
- identifying emerging recreation and demographic trends as well as issues and
- factors likely to affect the development of recreation services with the region and
- recommend strategies to deal appropriately with these issues;
- reviewing and updating the inventory of current recreation facilities and programs;
- determining if the current condition and supply is suitable to meet community
- expectations in a timely fashion or if there are gaps in service;
- facilitating the development of a comprehensive list of proposed recreation and parks
- service improvements and active transportation routes required to meet the future
- needs of residents in the region, and;
- identifying capital and long-term operating cost implications of the facility
New Recreation Department
The RM is committed to investing in the provision of recreation facilities, programs and services. In September, 2020, the RM launched a brand-new Recreation Department. Under recreation director Courtney Bangert-Murray, the Department has been offering a wide range of programs for all ages, both in-person when appropriate and online when COVID-19 restrictions have not permitted gatherings.
Although we continue to work with other municipalities regarding joint recreational programming, it is important we are creating programming that satisfies the unique wants and needs of our ratepayers. Our Recreation Department is excited to develop even more programming that meets the wants and desires of our community members going forward.
Investment in existing and new facilities
The report highlighted that aging facilities are an issue in our region. While investment in infrastructure is important and includes optimizing and maintaining current facilities in a financially sustainable manner, there comes a time where some facilities are too outdated and it is no longer responsible to invest in them.
The RM’s goal is to make well-informed investments into more modern facilities that meet the needs of more of our residents of all abilities, year-round.
The Assessment outlined the importance of planning for future investments to meet growing community needs, and building partnerships with public and private recreation providers and advocates in the community to ensure recreation is delivered for the benefit of everyone.
Regional Active Living Centre
One large-scale project the Assessment outlined that the RM could take the lead on is a regional active living centre. An RALC would be a massive recreation hub for four-season activities and would meet many of the objectives outlined in the report.
The facility would focus on a wellness model that connects the community with support systems, others in the region, and to the natural beauty and landscape of the area. It may include: an indoor multi-use ice arena, workout room, a walking/running track, a warm-water therapy pool, commercial space for para-professionals, a community kitchen, new youth centre space, an expanded library/learning hub, a seniors’ centre, and multi-purpose rooms.
The facility would bring new services to Lac du Bonnet, in addition to more economic opportunities related to attracting people from other regions to the area.
Other recreation amenities could be developed incrementally over time and potentially in coordination with a facility such as a regional active living centre, such as an outdoor rink, a splash pad/spray park, a playground, and a disc-golf course.
To conclude, planning for recreation facilities is a continuous process – one that balances extending the use of present facilities through renewal or re-purposing, planning for future new development as the RM changes and grows, as well as being responsive to new
opportunities and partnerships that may arise.
The Recreation Needs and Facilities Assessment Report has resulted in a number of strategies identified to assist the RM in the next steps towards implementation of recreation programming, facility renewal, and new development, both in the immediate and longer-terms.