Recreation Services Plan months in the making for Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield (SMITH-ENNISMORE-LAKEFIELD)
Recreation has become an integral part of the development of communities across the country. Great care is taken to prepare plans to guide a township or city through the development of its recreational infrastructure and programming. The strategy can span a five- to 10-year period, so it needs to be well thought out before it is implemented.
After months of studies, surveys and consultations, Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield is preparing to unveil its Recreation Services Plan to the general public this week to receive input. Two public meetings are being held: Nov. 16 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Niels Pind Room at the Lakefield-Smith Community Centre at 20 Concession St. and on Nov. 17 from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Township council chambers at 1310 Centre Line.
Ed Barber, recreation service manager for the township, says the previous plan developed in 2002 specifically dealt with the challenges of amalgamating the townships.
“All those recreation plans have been reviewed and completed,” states Mr. Barber. “It’s time to do it again.”
The draft plan pays special attention to a number of areas, including the delivery of services, parkland and trail systems, and addressing the need for future recreational facilities. The development of relationships with outside groups and the effective use of space within the township is a consistent theme throughout the summary of the draft.
Mr. Barber feels the draft “will speak to the recreational needs for the area” and provide a well-balanced approach to its development for the township.
The 165-page report outlines plans for facility development with regards to the Robert E. Young Recreational Complex, the development of a skateboard park and a splash pad, and improving waterfront access within the township.
What is only briefly mentioned, but not named specifically, is the Ontario Speed Skating Oval. That facility, still in its developmental stage but operational during the winter months, is run by a community-based organization and therefore can only be mentioned, but not considered, in the overall plan of facility development for the area.