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Carstairs priorities include youth centre

Mountain View Regional Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan contains numerous recommendations

CARSTAIRS - A newly released master plan for recreation and culture in the region has identified top priorities in Carstairs, including the possibility of developing a youth centre in town.

Expedition Management Consulting Ltd. officials prepared the Mountain View Regional Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan, which was presented to Carstairs town council at a recent council meeting.

The plan was prepared following resident, youth, and stakeholder surveys of area residents, including Carstairs residents.

The top priorities in Carstairs identified in the survey and outlined in the plan are as follows:

• Participate in the study of a regional multi-purpose leisure centre to address indoor facility priorities.

• Enhance access to aquatics facilities.

• Develop a youth centre.

• Expand the local trail system and improve connectivity.

• Enhance park spaces.

• Develop a festival and events space.

• Explore the feasibility of developing an outdoor pool.

• Develop paved court spaces.

• Position as a regional destination for all-season family oriented recreation.

Justin Rousseau is Expedition Management Consulting’s managing director.

Regarding enhanced access to aquatic facilities, he told council, “We know that an aquatic facility was identified as a number 1 priority through the resident survey for Carstairs, but we also know that there is a high supply of aquatic facilities in the region, three to be precise (Didsbury, Olds, Sundre) so we are looking at suggesting some enhanced programming for Carstairs residents in existing facilities, and looking at some longer-term solutions down the road.” 

Developing a youth centre “came up early and often through the process. That could be a drop-in or programmed or a combination of the two,” he said.

“We certainly did hear that there was a need for additional programming for both recreation and culture. There was a need for more youth and adult programming. We certainly heard that through the process.”

The top three barriers to participation in recreation services identified in Carstairs were a lack of programs, a lack of facilities and a lack of awareness, he said.

“Transportation was one of the things that was listed, but it wasn’t one of the top three things identified,” he said.

Top regional priorities identified in the plan include a multi-purpose leisure centre that could include potential amenities such as a field house, ice sheet, gymnastics, indoor playground, and indoor track.

Implementation of the plan will “take sustained investment and collaborative effort from a wide variety of stakeholders in the region,” he said.

The plan has also been presented to other area councils in recent weeks.

Carstairs council accepted the plan for information.