by Colin Smith
Sustainability, education, animation and growth are the four themes guiding the 10-year Parks, Recreation, Culture and Trails Master Plan.
The plan, approved by Morinville Town Council at its April 9 meeting, is the result of an extensive process of public consultation including surveys, open houses, and workshops with user groups.
The purpose of the master plan is to provide direction and support to Administration to ensure proper systems and protocols are in place while also supporting Council in making their decisions on matters related to Recreation, Parks, Culture and Trails, according to background information.
It is also intended to align Morinville with provincial and federal goals so that the community will be looked on favourably when funding is being sought for future projects. The plan also aims to provide the community with outcomes that can be used to measure and evaluate the plan in the future.
The animating vision of the plan is that “Residents of the Morinville Region have opportunities to be active and creative throughout the year.”
The three goals of the plan derived from the plan are that recreation and cultural services contribute to the well being of all citizens, contribute to community health and wellness and contribute to the provision of healthy indoor and outdoor environments.
The plan provides recommendations for the community over the next 10 years that are based on the four themes of sustainability and protection, education, animation and growth.
A key component is the Trail Master Plan. It provides direction on the development of the trail system, the community’s most utilized parks and recreation resource, provides neighbourhood linkage.
“As new development in Morinville occurs, the trail master Plan helps developers plan and build neighborhoods in ways that support the goals of the master Plan. The trail portion of the plan also provides the community with a map and outline to better deal with developed areas of Morinville that may not have the best connectivity. Having the plan will open opportunities to options that can be potentially brought forward to help improve areas.”
Impetus for development of the plan was the purchase of the recreation lands on the east of Morinville and the development of the Morinville Leisure Centre, resulting in significant changes to both Parks and Community Services.
Development of the two new school sites is also introducing an additional amount of new recreational lands for the community.
Along with growth of the community, these factors prompted a review of the Parks, Recreation, Culture and Trails Master Plan before its scheduled renewal in 2021.