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Wellesley seeks input on its rec. programs, facilities

Township to hold forum on February 26 as part of consultations in its newly launched recreation master plan

Parkland, culture, sports, service levels: there’s a lot of ground to cover as Wellesley Township launches a study of its recreation needs for the next 20 years.

As part of developing a new recreation master plan, the township hopes to hear input about the state of its current offerings. It also wants suggestions for future changes to programs and facilities when it hosts a community gathering forum at the Crosshill council chambers on February 26.

“Basically, it’s an opportunity for community groups, representatives [like] the Optimist Club, recreation service boards and individuals to come out and provide input,” said director of facilities Brad Voisin this week.

Wellesley residents want to see developments in the township’s recreation offerings, Voisin suggested.

“Whether that be maintaining present facilities or constructing new, how do we go about that? Are we staffed properly? Are we meeting the needs of the community? How can we improve? What are our strong points? Basically, giving the people an opportunity to tell us what they would like to see.”

Part of the plan’s role is to provide a point of reference for budgeting for some of the possible future projects.

“What we are hoping for is the master plan will give us a guide,” Voisin said.

The demand for parkland and other recreation space is also an important part of the equation.

“It’s becoming bigger and bigger all the time: more facilities and more things to do. We’re finding, especially in the village of Wellesley, that we are out of space.”

The community parks, recreation and culture strategic master plan would guide recreation initiatives, facilities, culture, parks, sports fields, trails and open space in the township for the next 20 years. The township set aside $40,000 in last year’s budget to cover the cost of the exercise.

London’s Monteith Brown Planning Consultants Ltd. has been hired to consult on the process. Representatives from the firm will be making a presentation about the township’s plans at the forum.

“They are very experienced in doing master plans in the smaller and larger communities, but they’ve been well-used in Wellington County and Waterloo Region in the past.”

Township staff hopes to attract all interested parties to the forum, from sports teams and children’s groups to clubs and anyone in the township involved in recreation programming or renting township facilities. Those in attendance will get a chance to point out strengths and weaknesses in current recreation amenities and talk about what they would like to see in the future.

Each Wellesley organization interested in attending can have a maximum of two representatives at the forum and those who signed up by February 21 will attend the event from 7-9 p.m. at 4805 William Hastings Line in Crosshill.

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