Saanich residents asked to provide input on parks and recreation shift

Through an eight-month study, the District of Saanich confirmed that residents like the way the parks and recreation system operates, but they desire more. Residents shared that they want Saanich's four recreation centres to include a greater array of social, health and wellness programs while simultaneously expanding the traditional recreation and sport as well as arts and culture opportunities.

Shifting from recreation centres to community centres is among the draft recommendations from the study conducted by Lees & Associates. The study examined Saanich residents' expectations of recreation, health and wellness programs, services, activities and experiences. The study was commissioned in response to Saanich's growing and changing population and to help guide the Parks and Recreation Department during the next 10 years. Saanich's population, currently around 115,000, is projected to grow to almost 130,000 by 2036.

Recommendations:

The study found that while 76 per cent of Saanich residents are highly satisfied with the District's current recreation programs, activities, services and experiences, they are also keen to have more conventional recreation and sport opportunities, arts and culture opportunities and an expanded array of health and wellness offerings offered at Saanich's four recreation facilities.

There are many recommendations outlined in the draft report, including:

"        Emphasizing community feel through more spaces for social gathering;

"        Envisioning a new master plan for Lambrick Park, including Gordon Head Recreation Centre;

"        Focusing on weight room and fitness area expansion at all locations;

"        Expanding multicultural, intergenerational and older adult programming; and

"        Determining feasibility for expansion of current ice sheet availability in Saanich.

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