Twp. seeks parks & rec feedback

·2 min read

SOUTHWEST MIDDLESEX - The township has gotten underway with their Recreation Master Plan. Consultants were present during Wednesday’s meeting to outline what they’ve learned about recreation in Southwest Middlesex.

“You’re definitely not starting from scratch,” said consultant Todd Brown, Principal Planner with Montieth Brown Consulting. He noted ample parkland, community partnerships, and private/semi-private recreation offerings in the municipality. With lots of options for recreation in the area - a pool, curling club, library, playgrounds, parks, minor sports clubs for kids, a dog park, great Carolinian walking trails, to name a few - this plan will build on a solid base.

“They will put this all together for us, and we’ll find out in the end what our residents want in the municipality,” mused Greg Storms, Director of Operations for the township.

Phase 1 of the project was mostly background research. The exciting part comes in Phase 2, when consultants go to the public for feedback, beginning in March.

“There are a lot of options for recreation in the township, but I think there’s opportunity for more diversity,” suggests Glencoe resident Robyn Graham.

She notes the variety of Chatham-Kent rec programming in nearby Bothwell - pickleball, ball hockey, and even roller skating.

Once the public consultation is completed, staff will start thinking about how to implement the findings. When it comes to recreational programming, Facilities & Recreation Supervisor Alex Yardy says his philosophy is generally, ‘if you build it, they will come’.

“It takes a leader to set out a programme, and then I think our citizens will engage in it,” he says.

Consultants are also considering the future growth of Southwest Middlesex. With approximately 6,000 residents, Middlesex County anticipates the township could grow to 6,700 by 2031., helping our high school.

An aging population will likely emphasize implementing programmes for seniors. As well, more drop-in programmes have been identified as a need.

McKinley Leonard-Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner