Mya Breckenridge, 6, swings from an apparatus at a playground in Porter Creek on July 17. Ninety-one per cent of Whitehorse residents surveyed say parks and recreation are important to their quality of life. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Parks and recreation good, Whitehorse residents say

Survey results find people want more trails, sports and arts facilities

Ninety-one per cent of Whitehorse residents surveyed say parks and recreation are important to their quality of life.

That’s one of the findings council heard when city staff presented the new parks and recreation master plan at the standing committees meeting on July 16.

The 76-page document brings forth suggestions for everything from outdoor parks and city policy, to implementing a refurbishment plan for Robert Service Campground and updating the cemeteries master plan.

City staff have been at work on the plan since January 2018, gathering ideas from “residents, user groups and recreation delivery partners.”

Coun. Samson Hartland said he likes a lot of what he saw in the plan.

“We live in one of the greatest places in the world for these sorts of opportunities,” he said July 16.

More than 500 members of the public seemed to agree, according to their responses via online surveys and open houses. The most popular activities engaged in include hiking, camping, walking or jogging, wildlife watching, and attending community events. People said the major barriers to using city facilities include a lack of awareness of opportunities, overcrowded facilities, and hours of operation.

Looking at public demand for new facilities and improvements to existing indoor and outdoor facilities, the plan suggests moving on a couple dozen initiatives. It provided no timeline or prioritization for any projects.

These include supporting desired new spaces such as a climbing gym, dedicated youth and seniors spaces, and performing arts facilities, artificial turf sports fields, and speed skating ovals.

It also recommends further development of facilities and amenities including natural surface trails, paved surface trails, playgrounds, and outdoor boarded rinks.

The plan can be found online at whitehorse.ca.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

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