TEMISKAMING SHORES (Staff) – Public gatherings may be off, but the public is still invited – online – to take part in developing Temiskaming Shores’ new recreation master plan.
Plans for consultations have been moved from Riverside Place to an online forum tomorrow (April 2).
A community workshop will enable participants to take part in blog-style conversations.
The first hour, beginning at 6 p.m., will be devoted to parks and facilities, and the second, with a 7 p.m. start, to activities and programs.
“It’ll be open for people to steer the conversation the way they want,” said Matt Bahm, the city’s director of recreation.
But it’ll also be guided by himself and the consultants overseeing the planning process, and based on the broad themes coming from interviews and surveys to date.
• The use of natural spaces for social activity, and how to upgrade them.
• Establishing a network of neighbourhood, community and regional parks, with a variety of recreational opportunities in each.
• Using existing or new recreational facilities to support the Haileybury and New Liskeard downtowns.
• Emerging trends in recreation, including active and passive recreation such as trails, cycling, and pickleball.
• Supporting the existing team sports structure.
• Funding recreational services that are used not just by city residents but the broader region.
The master plan is intended to guide Temiskaming Shores’ development of recreation services and facilities for the next decade.
Discussions began late last year, when consultant Jim Scott of Trace Planning and Design met with city staff and councillors.
Workshops and interviews with other groups and individuals have been conducted.
Area residents have also had an opportunity to complete surveys about their use of local and regional rec services, their level of satisfaction with city services, and what they’d like to see.
More than 350 surveys have been completed.
In talking to the consultants, Bahm said consultants considered 200 a decent response rate in a community of the city’s size, so the survey participation has been “awesome.”
About ten per cent came from non-residents “which is fine,” he said, because the plan will look at the city as a regional recreational hub.
When the process began, he said consultants had scheduled more public consultations, meetings with groups and personal interviews.
However, those plans were sidetracked by precautions taken to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
The April 2 online session may be one of the last chances for the public to offer input, he said.
To take part, he advised people to review the brief background information at www.tracestudio.ca/temiskamingshoresrmp.
People can also email comments, using the form on the site.
They can the sign in to the session on April 2 at 6 p.m. A summary is to be made available April 4.