The next phase of Greater Vernon’s recreation master plan will involve getting as much input from the public as possible.
Vernon’s Recreation Services Director, Doug Ross, says people are invited to complete an online survey on what they would like to see for recreation programs and facilities over the next 15 years.
“The survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how thoughtful you want to be. We encourage the public to fill it out. We really need their feedback so that we know what they would like us to do in the future,” Ross tells CJIB News.
Ross says questions include what kind of recreation facilities you are currently using and how often you visit them.
“We ask if you think those facilities are adequate, and we ask what kind of facilities do you believe the community needs in the future?” says Ross.
“We’re hoping for thousands of people to respond to it,” adds Ross.
Consultants will also be meeting with key stakeholder groups and holding in-person interviews the next couple weeks, to gauge the future needs.
Ross says another priority for the public engagement is connecting with youth.
“Recreation staff will be hosting interactive opportunities for students in the high schools to provide input on the plan. With the Master Plan having far reaching effects on the community for 5, 10, 15 years and beyond, it is very important to hear what the adults of tomorrow are thinking today,” says Ross.
An earlier phase of the master plan saw 7,500 household surveys mailed out randomly to citizens in the Greater Vernon area in February. The mail out was done as a control group to provide statistically reliable information and ensure that a specific interest group does not skew the feedback. The consultants reported that 1,236 or 16.5% of the control surveys were completed by the deadline. 400 responses were required to ensure the survey was statistically valid.
The Recreation Master Plan is being developed for the Greater Vernon area, so residents of Vernon, Coldstream, and RDNO electoral areas B and C are encouraged to take the survey.
The Master Plan will be used by the Greater Vernon jurisdictions as decisions are made about recreation facilities, active lifestyle opportunities, and recreation services over the next 15 years.
Photo: A member of the public takes part in a Recreation Master Plan open house at the Village Green Mall. (City of Vernon)