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M.D. to finish Recreation Master Plan in early 2020

The Municipal District of Bonnyville is developing a Recreation Master Plan to help set future priorities and focus areas expected to be finished by early 2020.

The M.D. values recreation and continues to make a significant investment to ensure that a diversity of opportunities exist for residents, the municipality said in a press release on Friday.

This investment includes the operation of campgrounds and day-use areas, operations of Kinosoo Ridge in winter and summer, funding support for major community facilities in the region (including the C2 in Bonnyville and Energy Centre in Cold Lake), and grants to community associations and organizations.

Once completed, the Master Plan will provide council and administration with a point of reference that can guide future decision making and ensure recreation investment continues to be efficient and aligned with resident needs.

“The M.D. recognizes that recreation is a key contributor to quality of life in our region,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk.

“The Master Plan presents a great opportunity to build upon the research and engagement we have conducted over the last few years. It will provide us with a roadmap that sets future priorities to meet the needs of our residents and community groups.”

The cost for the study is pinned at $34,000.

Recreation needs

The Recreation Needs Assessment, completed in early 2019, included significant engagement with area residents and recreation stakeholders.

During the Recreation Needs Assessment, survey responses were garnered from 675 households, 23 stakeholder sessions were conducted with 44 community organizations, and additional feedback was gathered at a number of open house events and other engagement opportunities.

The information gathered from the Needs Assessment as well as other recent recreation studies that the M.D. has led or participated in (including the Outdoor Recreation Park Feasibility Study and Bonnyville Aquatics Centre Feasibility Study) provides a wealth of insight into regional resident needs and priorities for recreation and will be used to help inform the development of the Master Plan.

Once a draft Master Plan is developed it will be reviewed with the community at an open house event and online through the M.D. website.

Over the next few months, the project team will also be conducting engagement sessions with key recreation stakeholder groups and organizations.

RC Strategies + PERC, a recreation focused consulting firm, has been retained by the M.D. to help develop the Master Plan.