Community rec plan outlines future of recreation in Moosomin
January 21, 2021, 10:29 am
Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
It’s no secret that Moosomin has some of the best recreation facilities in the province, and they continue to grow every year with the rec department always looking ahead to what’s next and what the community needs.
Moosomin Rec Director Mike Schwean wanted to hear from the community as he worked to outline future plans and that’s how the community recreation plan was born.
The community rec plan outlines the next decade of recreation in Moosomin at three different levels—administration, programming, and facilities. With the goal being to increase convenience and having something to offer for everybody.
Schwean says he and Assistant Rec Director Catherine Mannle are always trying to ensure everybody in the community is happy with the facilities and programming, and the best way to find out what people want was to ask them.
This led to Schwean and Mannle conducting a questionnaire for anybody in the community to be a part of—Schwean says they got between 300 and 400 responses. They also spoke with individual recreation groups throughout the community to gauge what they were thinking and wanting for the next 10 years in the community.
After a year of work, the community rec plan was complete with recommendations from Moosomin residents for what they would like to see in all three key aspects of recreation. The plan was then presented to the Moosomin council on December 16 and the 10-year plan was approved—along with the community rec plan, Schwean conducted a economic impact study to show just how much money recreation in Moosomin generates—it injects $100,822,400 into the community.
Parks and recreation will develop/purchase and implement online booking software for the various applicable facilities in real time. This includes: Conexus Communiplex, Conexus Convention Centre, Nutrien Sportsplex, Tim Hortons Outdoor Eventplex, all baseball and fastball fields, soccer fields, football fields, rodeo grounds, Borderland Co-op Aquaplex, curling rink (completion date: June 1, 2021/cost estimate: $2,500).
Parks and recreation will work to develop and upgrade their presence online to provide increased accessibility and visibility to residents. This includes: web page, Facebook, Instagram (December 31, 2020/$2,500).
Parks and recreation will develop office space at the Conexus MCC Centre to allow dialogue/bookings with user groups on site (May, 2021/$2,500).
Parks and recreation will develop a job description and entrance strategy for a future “Parks and recreation facility manager” for full-time employment with the Town of Moosomin (May, 2025/$100).
Parks and recreation will continue to develop the RECC Committee to become a prominent presence in the community and in doing so will increase local sports, recreation, and tourism events (ongoing/$100).
Parks and recreation will continue to work towards naming rights agreements at its facilities and the programs within (ongoing/$100).
Parks and recreation shall make a focused concentration on the upkeep and improvements to traditional programs at the Communiplex, swimming pool, Bradley Park, curling rink, and Sportsplex (June, 2024/$500).
Parks and recreation shall develop community outdoor walking paths. Development would first focus on existing facilities and would then extend to future development projects within the community (June 2021/$5,000).
Parks and recreation shall develop community outdoor biking paths (May, 2029/$50,000).
Parks and recreation shall work towards increasing department class/programs with regards to exercise and fitness classes (December, 2021/$1,000).
Parks and recreation will investigate the possibility of a community off leash dog park (August, 2024/$250).
Parks and recreation shall develop outdoor court programs including but not necessarily limited to tennis, pickle ball, and basketball (June, 2024/$5,000).
Parks and recreation shall develop indoor court programs including but not necessarily limited to tennis and pickle ball. As well, parks and recreation shall develop a strategy to increase community participation in basketball and volleyball programming at the Convention Centre (December, 2026/$5,000).
Parks and recreation shall make a focused concentration on upkeep and improvements to traditional and existing facilities. This includes: the Communiplex, swimming pool, Bradley Park, curling rink, and Sportsplex (ongoing/$500).
Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct a new community fitness centre. In addition, parks and recreation shall also investigate adjoining sport courts (handball, racquetball, etc.) to the fitness centre. Parks and recreation will also conduct a feasibility study with regards to operations of a new facility (June, 2025/$5,000).
Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct a second indoor skating arena to be used as a secondary facility to the Communiplex. In addition, parks and recreation will conduct a feasibility study with regards to operations of a new facility (June, 2030/$5,000).
Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct a new curling rink facility at Bradley Park (June, 2031/$5,000).
Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to constrict a joint facility involving both a second indoor skating rink along with a new curling rink at Bradley Park. In addition, parks and recreation will conduct a feasibility study with regards to operations of a new facility (June, 2031/$5,000).
Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct an indoor swimming pool to replace the existing outdoor pool. In addition, parks and recreation will conduct a feasibility study with regards to operations of a new facility (December, 2032/$5,000).
As a second option to an indoor pool, parks and recreation will conduct a feasibility study to construct an outdoor paddling pool at the existing swimming pool (October, 2026/$5,000).
Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct community walking paths and community bike paths (ongoing with development/$1,000).
Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct an in town golf driving net structure and putting green (February, 2026/$1,000).
A key part of the rec plan and hearing from the public is ensuring everybody in the community is happy and has something that fits their recreation needs, which is why Schwean emphasizes having multidimensional facilities.
“There were a lot of things that we had heard before,” said Schwean. “I think in general people are happy with the amount of facilities and programs for youth, but more and more older adults are looking to take advantage of facilities and programs. That’s something that we had identified before, that was a big part of the Sportplex to be honest. The fitness activity aspect of it is big in the community and we’re fortunate to have a gym here but that’s something people want more of, whether it’s programs or facilities. That was another big one that came up a lot. Having activities for every demographic is important. As far as facilities go, people understand they’re expensive and I think they were pretty reasonable in those requests. It’s something we have to be diligent with going forward and we have to look at the facilities we have and try to develop multiple purposes for them and then any facility we build going forward has to be multi-purpose as well to run a lot of different things in it. With the Sportsplex, that’s something we tried to do there.
“We wanted to make sure that we could do a lot of things and the convention centre is the same. We easily could have built a banquet hall, but it was important to us to build something that could be used for a lot of different things like the convention centre. That’s something that has been front and centre for us, but it’s also something that going forward we want to make sure we continue to do. When we designed the Sportsplex we had never even considered pickleball, somebody in the community came up with that idea so we incorporated it. To have the community input is important because they’ve listed things that we know we can tie into one facility and offer four or five different things. It’s good to hear from the community because it’s almost like putting a puzzle together.”
Support from the business sector has always been something Schwean credits for the success of Moosomin’s recreation facilities, and he’s hopeful that will continue to play a major roll as the community rec plan moves forward.
“It was important for us when we built the Sportsplex—I think it was $1.2 million and there hasn’t been a lot of government grants for awhile—we looked to the corporate community,” he said. “We were probably half a million in corporate donations for that so that’s a big thing for us going forward. That’s why the economic study we ran was important to us so we could show them there’s community return.
“We also had in our community rec plan that we continue to look for naming rights and community sponsors for facilities. I’m pretty confident in saying that Moosomin has done more with community sponsors than any other community in the province. I’m not patting myself on the back, I’m patting the corporate community on the back.”
Now that the rec plan is official with input from the community and approval from the town council, everybody is working in unison and Schwean is excited for what’s to come in Moosomin over the next 10 years and beyond.
“I think the nicest thing with this is that the town council knows the plan and we’re all on the same page,” he said. “For me it’s easy to say I want to do this and I want to do that, but to have the council on board and understanding what way we’re headed, it’s exciting for me because I know we have their support.
“We’re not going to go spend millions of dollars on facilities, most of it is feasibility studies, but at least we can have the opportunity to plan and present to council in the future. Programming and administration are real quick, programming will take a year to three years to progress those things, and facilities are in the long-term.”