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Recreation Needs Assessment & Master Plan

front-cover_final-for-webAthabasca County Council has accepted a Recreational Assessment and Master Plan as a valuable working document. It will be referred to by the County’s Recreation Board, Council and staff to help guide recreational decisions made in the future.

The Needs Assessment and Master Plan was developed using a variety of research inputs, including consultation with residents and stakeholders.


Key findings from the consultation included:

• Residents value recreation and believe that recreation strongly contributes to their household’s quality of life.

• The abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities in the area is a source of pride for residents and attracts visitors.

• Satisfaction with recreation services is generally high, although room exists for improvement.

• Some community organizations are struggling with volunteer recruitment and retention, aging facilities, and a lack of utilization.

• While community organizations were generally appreciative of current support from the County, a desire was expressed by some groups for increased support and resources.

• Diverse perspectives exist on how recreation dollars should be invested. A number of individuals and stakeholders believe that resources should be equitably dispersed across the County while others suggested that dollars should be concentrated in population centers.

• Demand exists for new recreation infrastructure development, however there is little propensity among residents to pay increased taxes to enhance recreation service levels (including facility development).

A Mission, Vision, Goals for Recreation and Master Plan objectives were developed based on the research and consultation. These foundations provide a philosophical background for recreation services and also help establish a rationale for why the County invests in recreation.

The Master Plan also provides eleven areas of recommendations (called Strategic Directions) which are intended to sustain current practices that work well, identify areas that can be enhanced, and help guide future decision making.