Irrigation Lake in Houston. (District of Houston photo)

RDBN to consider next steps after Parks and Outdoor Recreation Study at June 18 meeting

Report to District highlights growing demand for outdoor recreation opportunities in region

The Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN) is set to consider what comes next after the completion of the initial draft of their Parks and Outdoor Recreation Study at their June 18 meeting.

The report, the result of a 2019 direction by staff to have a consultant give a broad overview into the District’s growing outdoor recreation needs, found a number of trends across the District, including a growing demand for growing recreational opportunities across the RDBN.

It seeks to answer a number of questions, including giving insight into the outdoor recreation needs and demands across the RDBN and how needs and demands vary across the region. Likewise, the report looks at how the RDBN can support the various volunteer clubs across the region without stifling their enthusiasm and autonomy.

READ MORE: RDBN’s Outdoor Recreation survey in its last phase

Conversely, it also looked at the various challenges presented by climate change to outdoor recreation in the region, such as the impacts of the pine beetle and forest fires.

While public feedback was stronger in other regions, it was lacking in Houston (Area G) with only six individuals attending an open house on the subject and just 26 responses to a public survey.

Those who did respond expressed a desire for the establishment of new services, with local clubs expressing support for multi-year funding agreements with the District versus grants.

Staff will present a report to the RDBN at their June 18 with recommendations regarding next steps on the report.

The RDBN will also consider three sample scenarios which were previously presented to the Board, which range from a municipally-contributed model that would focus on Area A with an annual budget of $325,000 and 0.75 full time employees (FTE) to one which looks at region-wide service across the District to the tune of 1.2 FTEs. The $739,000 plan focuses on funding to clubs in the west and grants in the east to account for differences in preferences across the region.
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