Survey shows Albertans embrace outdoor recreation

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by Morinville Online Staff

The 2022 Alberta Recreation Survey, conducted by the Alberta Recreation & Parks Association (ARPA), unveils a portrait of Albertans’ fervour for outdoor activities and its impact on quality of life.

Albertans’ passion for outdoor pursuits is unmistakable, as walking, hiking, and camping takes center stage. The survey showed over 60% of participants favoured hiking in Provincial or National parks, solidifying the crucial role these spaces play.

Heather Cowie, President of the Alberta Recreation & Parks Association, emphasized, “The survey results underscore the importance of outdoor spaces and the need to enhance access for meaningful recreation.”

The Alberta government echoes this sentiment through Joseph Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sport, Government of Alberta, who said the government believes that sports and recreation are fundamental to improved quality of life at any age. “[This is] why we have introduced the Every Kid Can Play program, supporting families with financial barriers in accessing sports and recreational programs. We are also creating a new Community Recreation Centre Infrastructure fund, supporting small and medium-sized projects such as community pools and rinks throughout the province,” he said. “We appreciate ARPA’s leadership in administering the 2022 survey and look forward to exploring how we can support creating more opportunities for Albertans to lead active and healthier lives.” Joseph Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sport, Government of Alberta.”

Key survey findings include:

  • Diverse Pursuits: Adults favour walking (76%), hiking (61%), attending fairs/festivals/events (60%), swimming in lakes, rivers, and ponds (38%), and golf (25%).
  • Overcoming Barriers: Cost remains a primary obstacle, with 35% citing equipment costs and 21% registration or admission fees.
  • Outdoor Appeal: Outdoor activities surged, with land, water, and snow activities growing by 13%, 9%, and 2% respectively from 2017 to 2022.
  • Emerging Trends: Pickleball emerges as an exciting trend capturing Albertans’ interest.
  • Inclusivity Matters: Only 32% of Albertans with disabilities consider recreation entirely accessible.
  • Resilience Amid Pandemic: 30% of Albertans embraced new recreational activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 86% sustaining them.
  • Cherished Parks: Over 60% of Albertans opt for hiking in Provincial or National parks, with Banff National Park, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Jasper National Park, Fish Creek Provincial Park, and Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park being favourites.
  • Elevated Well-being: The survey reveals a 13% rise in the perceived value of recreation, particularly in enhancing quality of life.


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