Tia Wayling is the recreation services co-ordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay. (File photo)

Tia Wayling is the recreation services co-ordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay. (File photo)

Rec Perspectives: Improving Recreational Opportunities

‘Our vision is to see residents live active and creative lifestyles’

By Tia Wayling, recreation services co-ordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay

The snow we’ve received recently has been an interesting start to the new year. We’re all getting extra exercise shovelling off our driveways, and our kids are getting an extra week off of school. These things are not related to each other but conveniently gave children some extra play time in the deep snow, something I probably would have loved when I was in school.

There is a lot of negative talk these days as this pandemic drags on but I am making a choice to talk about the fun and positive, even though it would be really easy to dive into the pessimistically-driven topic of restrictions. Let’s shift our focus to what we can control and appreciate.

Aside from recently dusting off safety plans to update again, I am also part of a team that will be helping improve recreational experiences and opportunities in the Creston Valley. Our guiding document is a “Recreation Master Plan” that was handed over to us in 2020. I don’t think I have to tell you we’ve been a little side-tracked these past 22 months, but in our few spare moments, we have been working on an implementation strategy based on the 19 recommendations compiled from mountains of data provided by you, the citizens of Creston, and Electoral Areas A, B, and C. Surveys, focus groups, and stakeholder engagements back in 2018 and 2019 painted the picture of what residents would like to see for recreational opportunities in our community. Our vision is to see residents live active and creative lifestyles. While we help support this already in many ways, these recommendations are there to help us get closer to that vision. Some recommendations are quicker to implement, such as changes to programming and events, but others will take more time and planning like, infrastructure development.

We have made a small start in addressing two of the recommendations to increase low-cost programming and pursue community partnerships. This winter, we have partnered with the Creston Valley Public Libraryto offer free drop-in programs at the Creston and District Community Complex (CDCC). Join Saara Itkonen, chief librarian, on Wednesdays for Family Storytime (0 – 6 years) from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and Babytime (0-18 months) from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. in the Erickson Room of the CDCC. Both programs feature songs, stories, puppets, and play for young children and their caregivers. Proof of vaccination is required for the adults attending. These programs are just a start to the partnerships you will start to see the CDCC doing with groups and organizations in the community.

Keep your eyes out as you start to see some positive changes come from the CDCC over the next few years. If you are part of a community group/organization, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

To read this riveting document firsthand, you can head over to the Recreation section of the rdck.ca website and look under Recreation & Parks Planning to find the Master Plan. Keep enjoying the outdoors and stay safe and healthy!

READ MORE: Rec Perspectives: The New Year

READ MORE: Creston birders spot 73 species in annual Christmas Bird Count

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