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Lake of Bays considers Parks and Recreation strategy review

Lake of Bays considers Parks and Recreation strategy review

Posted: 2023-03-16 07:27:32 By: thebay

A final draft of the Parks and Recreation Strategy for Lake of Bays was presented to Council in the March 14, 2023, meeting.

Architectural firm, Thinc Design provided an overview for a 20-year provision plan for the Township that included resources, investment, and development recommendations.

The recommendation is to unfold the plan in four phases, including “background analysis and review, community and stakeholder consultation, draft strategy, and final strategy,” indicated Danielle Lenarcic Biss, of the architectural firm.

The firm has conducted an assessment regarding community needs, including through the phone, online surveys, questionnaires, and focus groups.

Financial considerations of the community to help reduce costs to the Township include “establishing a parks foundation, developing programs to generate revenue, and review and revise the fee structure,” said firm representative, Mary Catherine.

Regarding service capacity Catherine suggested, “contracting professionals services to develop marketing strategy for the system. Hire staff for program development and work.”

The firm also suggested the Dorset Pavilion is not a wise investment. Catherine said, “We don’t recommend municipalities invest in properties they don’t own.” She added that given the property is not in Lake of Bays municipality, “we suggest that Algonquin Highlands assumes the lease… The Township of Lake of Bays should forgo its lease agreement.”

The firm also suggested the Township work with other community and volunteer groups for opportunities, such as special events that can contribute to funding and expansion of areas like arts, culture and heritage; promote all-season activities; provide opportunities for self-directed programing; and to create “try-it programs,” such as workshops, drop ins, and lessons to get a feel for what the community interests are.