Parks and recreation plan recommends expanding programming and spaces

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A newly developed Parks and Recreation Master Plan for Strathroy-Caradoc recommends the municipality expand multi-purpose programming space and affordable programming, along with 61 other recommendations.

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The final draft plan was approved by councilors at the January 17 regular council meeting, where Steve Langlois of Monteith Brown Planning Consultants reviewed the plan’s content and suggestions.

“By approving the plan, you are not committing to implementing all of the recommendations as written, but you are signaling to the public that you are making efforts to support long-term planning that addresses the highest priority needs. as expressed by your residents,” Langlois told councillors.

According to the report presented by Langlois, the plan’s vision is to “support a diverse range of accessible parks and recreation opportunities that contribute to personal health and community well-being, enrich quality of life for all ages , foster partnerships and volunteerism, and support the integrity of the natural environment.

The plan is intended to serve as a guide for policy changes to the official plan and various park regulations, planning decisions, operational planning, facility design decisions, land acquisitions, financial planning and opportunities for community engagement.

In addition to expanding versatile programming space and affordable programming, the plan identified a wide range of “high priority” recommendations, including pursuing plans to replace the Tri-Township Arena, Continually reviewing department staffing levels to align with service levels. , creating a playground equipment replacement fund, identifying and securing an additional community park site in Strathroy and Mount Brydges, establishing an outdoor rink program to support volunteer-run rinks in suitable parks, preparation of a study on the feasibility of an indoor swimming pool once the population of the municipality reached 30,000 inhabitants, and more.

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Langlois said indoor pools are in common demand in most communities, regardless of size.

“These are very popular facilities because we have fewer possibilities in winter,” he said. “Indoor pools serve people of all ages, and learning to swim and preventing drowning are very important.

“But in terms of operating costs and construction costs, it’s quite significant,” he continued. “But as you grow and get to that level of population, that’s when we see municipalities tend to look more closely at the feasibility of these kinds of facilities.”

Com. Steve Pelkman pointed out that the recommended playground replacement fund was an important part of the plan.

“We’re retiring 50-year-old gaming gear, and it’s a safety hazard, and we didn’t have the funds to replace it,” he said. “I’m really happy to see this being put in place because it’s something families see and touch, and it makes them feel good to be here.”

“I appreciate having these documents now so boards can have a consistent approach and plan appropriately, rather than doing one-off actions,” Coun said. Mary Baker. “Having a plan in your life, in your business and in your community is essential, and these documents really set the tone for us.”

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan was developed as part of the ongoing Growing Together Strathroy-Caradoc project. For more information on the project, visit growtogethersc.ca.

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