Rec society planning needs assessment

·1 min read

Does Gabriola need more recreation facilities? That’s the question on the mind of the Gabriola Recreation Society.

The society is looking into conducting a needs assessment of recreation facilities on the island to prioritize future facility development, Kyle Clifford, GRS president, said the society has been in conversation with Regional District of Nanaimo staff and Electoral Area B Director Vanessa Craig to make it happen.

“The main challenge for the GRS and Gabriola residents is the current lack of on-island recreation facilities,” Clifford said. “Many small communities are home to indoor curling rinks, multiplex recreation buildings, swimming pools and areas, none of which are found here.”

Clifford added the pandemic has restricted access to the Gabriola Elementary School gymnasium for adult programs. The Community Hall works for some programs, but is not conducive to sports like volleyball, badminton, indoor soccer and pickle-ball, Clifford noted.

“A needs assessment would help to gauge the communities interest and support for future facilities.”

Craig recognizes the challenging landscape and said a needs assessment is tentatively scheduled to take place in 2023, in recognition of RDN staff availability to develop and oversee the assessment, which would ultimately be conducted by a consultant.

GRS was established in 2002. The RDN contracts with GRS to provide recreation services and programs on Gabriola.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

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