The Town of Moosomin Parks and Recreation Department has received significant support from the community to improve the town’s parks and recreation facilities. From building entirely new ball diamonds, to renovating dressing rooms in the Communiplex, developing walking paths, or resurfacing the outdoor arena, the projects are many and varied. All together, contributions in 2020 come to over a million dollars for a total investment of around $1,044,000. It’s evident that businesses and community groups are eager to support parks and recreation projects in Moosomin. This allows the town to offer a high level of service and to positively impact the quality of life for the people living in the community.
Photo of the Moosomin Swimming Pool, courtesy of the Town of Moosomin's website
Mike Schwean is the Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Moosomin. He describes why the community is so eager to support parks and recreation projects. According to Mike, for many years the Town of Moosomin has been dedicated to the improvement of recreation facilities and have promoted them as the “Community's Facilities”. As a result, they have had amazing partners over the years. The town has invested a tremendous amount of time forging relationships with businesses and community groups with the help of a local committee called the “Recreation, Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce and Community Committee” (RECC). The RECC represents the pillars upon which their recreation delivery system is built.
Support from businesses and community groups allows the town to offer a high level of service. Existing facilities are improved, new facilities are built and programs are supported. Virtually every facility operated by the town is sponsored by a business or community group. This support helps ensure the town can offer more access and more choices for recreation and offer the amenities expected in much larger centres. Amenities include things like rinks, ball diamonds, football and soccer fields, walking paths, simulation sports, senior programs and various outdoor activities. According to Mike, this has a positive impact on the quality of life for the people living in Moosomin.
For those wanting to approach businesses or community groups within their community for support, Mike offers the following advice:
“I have always believed the key for success is “community buy in”. A community (residents, business, government …everyone) has to truly feel these facilities are “their” facilities and in turn they will see the amazing value in them. Over the years we have strived to involve as many community groups and businesses in as many projects as possible with whatever they are able to afford … could be a multi million dollar business or a street sign on a walking path.
In time virtually every resident in town has some affinity to a group. Who we have worked with on a project and with that comes community ownership in what we have. At this point it is more common for a group in town to approach us with an idea than it is for us to have to reach out for help. So my advice would be to work towards that “buy in” mentality. Include as much of the community as you can, big or small, and the rewards will grow and grow.”
The Town of Moosomin continues to grow and so does the support for parks and recreation. The Parks and Recreation Department, through support of the South East Sport, Culture and Recreation District, is even working on a Community Recreation Plan! Mike applauds the latest group of funders as they are critical to the vitality of facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic caused facilities to be closed but the timing of support is allowing the town to upgrade facilities now so they can re-open and be better than ever!