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Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update

The Township of Springwater has contracted the Rethink Group to begin the process of updating the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.  This initiative will examine the nature of the community and how it is expected to grow and change in the coming decade and beyond. The study will examine:
  • The way parks, culture and recreation services are provided;
  • The role of the Municipality, volunteers and additional service providers;
  • The ability of the Municipality to finance culture and recreation and will make recommendations for funding strategies;
  • Current and future demand for recreation and leisure;
  • Parks and open space, including parkland acquisition and development; and
  • Recreation and culture facilities and provide an assessment of future. 
The plan will include recommendations for implementation including priorities and timelines, and estimated capital and operating costs.

Draft Parks and Recreation Master Plan Working Session

​Following months of research, focus groups and community engagement sessions, the Rethink Group has presented a Draft Parks and Recreation Master Plan for Council's consideration.  Council will consider recommendations made in the Draft Plan during a working session scheduled for Tuesday, September 27 at 3 pm.

Community Engagement

Resident and stakeholder engagement is essential to the research phase of developing the plan. The consultation program will include:
  • An online survey (complete)
  • Focus groups and workshops (complete)
  • Two community forums (complete)
  • Presentations to Council
  • Community group survey (complete)
Community Forums

Approximately 100 people attended two Community Forums which were hosted at the Elmvale Community Hall and the Township Administration Centre on February 10 and 11. Participants were asked for their input on updates to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Click here to read a summary report on the input received at the Forums.

Online Survey

299 households responded to the online survey that asked about leisure activities and patterns, as well as opinion about various aspects of parks, recreation and culture in Springwater Township.  Respondents were from all parts of the Township and the profile of responding households was similar to the Township.  Hard copies of the survey were located at library branches and other public facilities.  The survey was widely promoted, including a post card mailed to every household.  Click here to read a summary report on the response to this survey.  

Focus Group Workshops

Since the response to the two Community Forums was so strong and other data on facility use and demand indicators is readily available for the most used facilities, it was decided that only one additional workshop would be hosted, that being for the Recreation Service Boards or ‘hall boards’ as most know them.  On March 25th, twelve representatives of these boards attended the session to discuss:

i) what’s working well with the Recreation Service Boards and the facilities that they are responsible for;
ii) the desired role of the RSBs;
iii) what should be done differently; and
iv) what the Parks and Recreation Master Plan should consider regarding Recreation Service Boards and the facilities that they manage.  

Click here to read a summary report on the proceedings of the session with the Recreation Service Boards.

Community Group Survey

14 groups completed this survey which asked questions about membership, trends, facilities used and their adequacy, unmet demand for current and additional programs, facility suggestions for the possible multi-facility recreation centre, suggestions for improved culture and recreation facilities across the Township, new/additional culture and recreation facilities and programs; and potential to assist with fundraising.

Except for Elmvale Bears, Sledge Hockey, Minesing Minor Ball and Simcoe Ladies Slo-pitch, groups have experienced no appreciable growth in registration over the past five years – and the Minesing Anten Mills Goodtimes Seniors Club experienced a 10-15% decline.  Over the next five years, five groups anticipate a small increase in registration, one anticipates a large increase and one expects a small decline.  The other groups anticipate registration to be steady.  Some groups were able to provide a rational for these trends and most were able to provide specifics about additional time required and the facility improvements and expansion necessary to support their program.  Click here to read a summary report on the response to this survey.

Survey of Volunteer-Based Groups

In April, 2015, a representative sample of volunteer-based groups who relate to parks and recreation services in the Township was emailed an online survey to gather important information about roles, recruitment, retention, issues/challenges, assistance received by the Township, success stories and suggestions.  The survey was in response to widespread discussion during the consultation for the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update about the decline in volunteering in Springwater, and related issues and impacts. A report on the findings of the survey is now available.

Third Community Forum

On June 9, 2015, 38 people attended the final Community Forum to offer input into the emerging Parks and Recreation Master Plan for the Township of Springwater.  To begin the session, a presentation was made that included a few key background facts, key strengths and opportunities, key challenges and gaps (current and future), and an overview of the Plan.  The overview began with a ‘belief’ statement that is founded on the philosophy that an investment in parks, recreation and culture is an investment in the community and its residents.  That was followed by the 13 guiding principles, Vision 2030 and the final steps to complete the planning process and the documents. 

Although Midhurst and Elmvale were best represented, participants also came from Minesing, Anten Mills, Snow Valley, Hillsdale and other parts of the Township.  Mayor French and four Township Councillors attended. View a report on proceedings.

The Master Plan contains many more details than were able to be presented at the Forum, including the community profile, anticipated population growth and change, trends in participation and leisure service provision, the way leisure services are provided, each type of indoor and outdoor culture and recreation facility, and parks and open space.  The implementation strategy (timing, costs, financing strategy, first steps, review and update, etc.) is the final chapter to prepare.


 

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