NG Parks, Recreation and Culture: How are we doing?

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by Councilor Doreen O’Sullivan

Where we live is a social determinant of our health. Healthy communities have facilities and services that address all the dimensions of our well being, physical, mental, social and spiritual. Parks, recreation and cultural facilities and services are vital to providing a high quality of life for all residents in our community.

Towns and hamlets in North Grenville currently have a great offering of such facilities, and this council feels that we can do even better. To ensure that the Municipality of North Grenville is focused on the highest priorities, we are seeking community input on local needs. The Municipality would like to know how residents use our parks and facilities, as well as how we can improve and expand public spaces, amenities and services in the years to come.

North Grenville’s Municipal Council has approved funding for the development of a ten-year Parks, Recreation & Culture Master Plan, with the assistance of a highly experienced consulting firm. The plan will offer all members of the community an opportunity to share their perspectives on the kinds of services, programs, parks and other recreational amenities our Municipality needs to pursue over the next decade. Access and inclusion will be embodied in the plan, as it needs to consider the needs of all ages, abilities and preferences.

Do we need more or different parks, changes to our ice allocation, or theatre access policies, or the addition of a recreational amenity such as an indoor pool, groomed ski trails, splash pad or outdoor rink? Do we need more indoor and outdoor pickle ball courts? Do we need to improve the connections of our trails? Do we need to coordinate cultural activities and places where people can create and showcase creative, visual and performing arts?

We are one of the fastest growing municipalities in Eastern Ontario. The consultant recognizes this as well as the municipality’s unique attributes in our urban and rural areas; our location south of Ottawa, close proximity to the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal lock in Burritt’s Rapids. The Kemptville Creek winding through the municipality and the town of Kemptville offers unique opportunities to interact with nature; as does the serenity that can be achieved from time in green space, on our trails and in the forest. Play structures in parks and sports fields are very busy hives of family activity. Are these meeting the needs of our growing community?

The Master Plan has the potential to affect all residents, as the Municipality seeks to identify improvements and additions to parks and facilities, new trail connections, more activities and programs. The ten-year Plan will assist the Municipality and its partners in making strategic investments to encourage a healthy community, strong economy and sustainable environment.

Residents are invited to attend a Public Open House to learn more about the project and provide their input on local priorities. The sessions will be held on Monday September 16, 2019, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the North Grenville Municipal Centre, Room B (285 County Road 44, Kemptville).

These are drop-in events, where you can choose to stay for 10 minutes, or an hour. There is no formal presentation, but you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts on parks, recreation and culture with the external firm that is supporting the Municipality in the development of the plan. These meetings are crucial for providing an understanding of the diverse perspectives of residents in our community.

A survey is also available online and at Municipal facilities. Please visit the project website to participate: www.northgrenville.ca/PRCmasterplan. Local organizations and user groups will also be contacted shortly to participate in a series of focus groups.

Please have your say and let us know what your priorities are for Parks Recreation and Culture.

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