Melville's Win-Win Solution for Parks and Outdoor Spaces this Summer

As we celebrate Recreation & Parks Month this June, it’s important to recognize how parks, green spaces and our outdoor surroundings are being cared for across the province.  These spaces provide access to nature in urban settings and encourage everyone to value the great parks and recreation opportunities that we have in Saskatchewan. 

In an ongoing effort to make sure that, “Melville is a great place to live, work, play, raise a family and retire”, a motto coined by City Manager, Ron McCullough, the city has launched a new Community Enhancement Initiative specifically aimed at parks and outdoor spaces. This great project all started as a conversation between Kristin Renkas, Melville Recreation and Programming Manager and Chris Bruce, Melville Director of Community Services. 

When discussing their options for summer recreation programming, given the current COVID-19 Regulations, Kristin and Bruce realized that the majority of programming would likely be cancelled and that the local swimming pool probably wouldn’t open for the season. Despite these temporary losses, they still wanted to make sure that Melville was able to retain its seasonal staff and provide stability to those employees that had been planning to return in summer 2020. Cue drum roll…and the Melville Community Enhancement Initiative was born! Council approved a plan to hire the Recreation Department’s normal allocation of seasonal staff and instead of operating programs and facilities in 2020 it was decided that staff would work on a variety of projects throughout the city in partnership with other groups such as Beautification Melville.

 “With all the negative effects of COVID-19, we wanted to make sure that it resulted in something positive for Melville,” said Kristin. “In collaboration with Mayor Streelasky and all the city department managers, we were able to create a community project list that had previously been out of reach due to staffing capacity.” 

The list focuses on the beautification of green spaces, repair and painting of signage, repair and painting of park benches, tables and buildings, tree pruning, replacement of city bulletin boards, edging of curbs, sidewalks and cemetery runners, revitalization of city gardens and flowerbeds, and painting of the in-city silhouettes, parking posts and light posts.

The Community Enhancement Initiative is a win-win for everyone! “We get to rehire experienced seasonal students, that need this employment to fund their education, and the residents of Melville will benefit from improvements that will happen all across our city this summer!” said Kristin. “It’s important that we maintain all of these spaces for everyone to enjoy!” 

Let’s make sure that everyone has beautiful outdoor spaces to appreciate this summer!  June is Recreation & Parks MonthLive it Everyday!