Countys recreation strategic plan drafted, awaiting approval

Raissa Tetanish
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UPPER NAPPAN - Improvements to recreation and physical activity areas could soon be coming to a community near you.
For more than a year, Cumberland County's recreation and physical activities co-ordinator has been working on a strategic plan to improve the health and wellness to residents in the county.
"The plan is in its final form unless council decides to make any changes to it," said Vicki Weaver after presenting it to council during the first meeting of November.
"We specifically chose six areas that we wanted to see improvements on in the county."
Those areas include municipal leadership in policy and funding, building and maintaining the capacity of community leaders and volunteers, building and maintaining the capacity of built and natural facilities, increasing accessibility by reducing barriers, increasing awareness through education and communication, and increasing physical activity opportunities.
In regard to municipal leadership in policy and funding, Weaver said one of the strategies identified was to develop a municipal grants policy.
"We currently don't have a municipal grants policy, although we do provide funding to different organizations," she said.
Following other communities in the province and most recently Truro, another strategy in the municipal leadership area is to create a smoke-free policy for outdoor public spaces.
Under the area of building and maintaining the capacity of leaders and volunteers, Weaver said one strategy is to increase the number of those leaders by offering opportunities to achieve a number of different physical activity certificates such as basic or specialized fitness and coaching.
"One of the strategies for building and maintaining the capacity of our built and natural facilities is to support the development and maintenance of trails, such as biking or walking trails," Weaver added.
Weaver also said that one of the strategies identified to reducing barriers is to make sure all facilities offering physical activities are equipped with ramps and bathrooms.
Another plan is to help establish programs for those with physical disabilities.
To increase awareness through education and communication, Weaver said they needed to "enhance the visibility of the facilities and opportunities by posting signs."
To increase the opportunities for physical activity, Weaver said one of the strategies is to increase active transportation, or human-powered, opportunities.
"There's plenty of things to do, and each strategy has a time frame," said Weaver, adding some may not be started for another year or two.
"And of course, some of them are ongoing," she said.
The strategic plan is scheduled for the next Cumberland County council meeting, which is Wednesday.

rtetanish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cumberland County council

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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