Recreation - A Regional Approach

CPL Recreation takes a regional approach to recreation delivery. An approach that isn't defined by municipal boundaries or postal codes, instead, it's about creating accessible sport, culture and recreation experiences!

CPL Recreation is a partnership that is thinking differently about the delivery of recreation within traditional municipal boundaries. 

Since 2009, the Village of Paddockwood, the Village of Christopher Lake, the District of Lakeland No. 521 and the Rural Municipality of Paddockwood No. 520 (known collectively as CPL Recreation) have been embracing a collaborative regional model to sport, culture and recreation programming.

To them, ‘community’ is not defined by municipal boundaries or postal codes. It is a belief in creating accessible sport, culture and recreation experiences within their region. Community is about building engagement, with the understanding that cooperation achieves more than competition.

With a volunteer board of directors, various community partners and a Recreation Director, sport, culture and recreation programs are brought to life within this region. The CPL Recreation Strategic Plan and their Partnership Agreement are a strong foundation that demonstrates a commitment to quality of life. Together, they have increased use of existing facilities, supported the development of new partnerships, enhanced communication among community groups and as a result, more programs are being offered. 

Their journey to becoming one of the most effective regional models for the delivery of sport, culture and recreation didn’t happen overnight. It started by employing a shared Recreation Director and establishing agreements for use of area facilities. Fast-forward to 2018 and CPL Recreation was recognized for their innovative and collaborative delivery model by being presented the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association’s Award of Merit. Today, they continue to remain focused on community needs and relationship building within the area.  

So what does this collaboration mean for residents, visitors and people like YOU? The diversity of experiences and opportunities can be greatly expanded if shared between communities. Offering more programs locally reduces the need to travel to larger communities. The availability of programs can also draw people to the area, enhancing local tourism. There are added benefits for communities and municipalities as well, because this collaboration maximizes human and financial resources.

“Through partnerships, there is access to increased funding, volunteers and participants,” said Cheryl Bauer-Hyde, Reeve for the District of Lakeland and CPL Recreation Board Chair.“ A shared resources model has worked well within the regional library system in Saskatchewan for decades. Refining that model to fit the broader sport, culture and recreation area becomes a winning proposition for residents of and visitors to Saskatchewan.”

*This article was originally published in the Summer 2019 edition of Rural Councillor, the official publication of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.