By Justin Seward
Quantum Consulting came in front of Cypress County administration and council to give the municipality a first look at its Recreation Master Plan on Oct. 6.
The Plan’s purpose is meant to create an “attainable mission and clear direction for the sustainable delivery of recreation and parks services for the next 15 plus years,” as read in the presentation package.
“The mission, goals and strategies serve as a framework for the long-term use and development of facilities and parks, and the implementation of vital recreation programs and services.”
The county’s value of recreation commitments include to promote municipality’s potentials, conserving the natural environment of the municipality-in particular the river valleys and coulee areas, wetlands and riparian areas and to preserve and protect identified historical resources within the municipality.
“Recreation is the experience that results from freely chosen participation in physical, social, intellectual, creative and spiritual pursuits that enhance individual and community well-being,” as read in the presentation package.
A key trend in the parks system have been that people want to live near parks or open spaces as it leads to a higher quality of life.
The presentation also viewed parks as an opportunity for non-programmed recreation and culture activities and are available for all ages of use.
“There is increasing momentum in the wellness movement,” as read in the package.
“Lifestyle and recreation are becoming the bottom line for livable communities across the country.”
As for sports and recreation, it was revealed that adults are embracing “active living” or “wellness” philosophy and municipalities are shifting their programming to meet the demands.
However, there has been a decline in children and youth participation.
“Soccer continues to be a popular sport and casual activities that fit their schedule,” as read in the package.
There is a growing market that includes a focus on family recreation as well as passive outdoor sports such as hiking, bird watching, marine and waterfront activities.
Cypress County does indoor and outdoor facilities, 28 parks for people to explore, two campgrounds and 3.2 kilometres of trails.
“The County is very fortunate that there is tremendous community spirit throughout the municipality. Each community has exceptional volunteers that are dedicated and facilitate recreation for all,” said Tarolyn Aaserud, county chief administrative officer.
Aaserud added the RMP would be discussed in more detail at a future council meeting.
“Due to COVID, the consultation process evolved more into a virtual consultation. However the process and consultation was very successful,” she said.