Op/Ed – Rossland Recreation: It’s in your hands, so speak now!

There’s a recovery plan in Rossland – and how it turns out depends on who speaks up and what you say.

The recovery master plan provides a guide for decision making from the city on which facilities they spend more money – or less. What is more important to you – trails or ice in the arena? Tennis or Pickleball? Our ancient outdoor pool, built in 1932 – yes, 90 years ago – by volunteer work! – or improved pitches? Art and culture or skiing and snowshoeing?

And how much should the city promote leisure and culture?

It’s not an either/or game, but the Leisure Master Plan will influence which activities and facilities receive more or less support from the city.

If you have not yet submitted your recreation and culture ideas to the Master Plan, please do so – or forever lose your right to complain about Rossland’s recreational facilities or spending.

Here is a link To take a survey to get your input and help create the recovery master plan – please fill it out before June 30th:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RosslandResidentSurvey

At the committee of the overall meeting on Monday, Expedition Consulting Ltd. briefed the Council on the process of developing Rossland’s Leisure Master Plan. Justin Rousseau explained that the process is currently in phase II, involving the public and stakeholders. He mentioned that the resident and stakeholder surveys are now active – until June 30th.

Morel asked how the process of collecting contributions from residents and stakeholders went; Rousseau replied, a slow start but gathering steam. Among other things, you’ve spoken to people at trailheads and in the skate park.

Miller asked what they thought of Rossland’s recovery ability; They had noticed many natural treasures and a few “aging” facilities.

Expedition Consulting had some questions for the Council; my brief comments on the Council members’ replies follow below.

question: How important is recovery for Rossland? Bowman – very important – it’s our lifeline; many people move here and live here because of this. Miller mentioned that there are Rosslanders who aren’t avid cyclists or skiers, and it’s important to have recreational opportunities for them, too. Nightingale pointed out that arts and culture are also important elements of our community. The cost of housing has been cited as one of the reasons why young people who have moved from this small town to the big city cannot afford to return; Limited job opportunities are another reason.

Question: What do you wish for leisure and culture in the future?

Bowman: We’re growing with the facilities we have with the strengths we have now.

Spooner: We work with limited resources. Our demographic and leisure preferences are changing, but nobody wants to give up what they have now. I want the money to be used where it will bring the greatest benefit and I want a rationale for what we are subsidizing and why. Spooner pointed out that the city made money from the climbing gym in the basement of Miners Hall and that the city subsidized a group of curlers. We cannot fund everything; What should we fund and why?

Miller wants us to have a plan that has good guidelines. We need to fix the relationship with Trail and the TRP. Would like to see recreation corridors – would like to reclaim the tracks through town and all the way to Warfield.

Nightingale said it is important that the facilities are well used, that our cultural events are well attended; that everyone in the community recognizes the value of all activities.

Morel prefers user payment; pointed out that hockey is a very expensive sport, not only for the facility but also for the equipment of the players.

Question: What facilities and programs does Rossland need now and in the future?

Spooner – a place to swim and cool off in the summer but not the pool. It’s a long walk to Nancy Greene Lake or Gyro. Wants a swimming hole closer to town.

Nightingale – after-school programs; There is a lack of extracurricular childcare – parents need a place where their children can go after school on their own.

Spooner – sees a lot of people just wanting to walk their dog or ride their bikes around town; Many people use the city’s hiking trails throughout the winter.

Miller – thinks we need more beginner – easy – trails.

Morel – Pool is important; Learning to swim is a safety consideration; the Warfield Pool is only ten minutes away by car – there is potential for cooperation.

question: If the master plan could achieve one thing, what should it be?

Spooner – to provide employees with a framework for their work.

Bowman – agreed and that would allow the Council to make better decisions.

Miller – is very interested in feedback from the community.

Morel – it’s really important that as many residents as possible contribute their views.

Nightingale – how do we measure the support people have for activities that they don’t actually do themselves but want to enable others to do?

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Dear reader, please try to answer these questions yourself and bring your opinion to the good folks at Expedition Consulting Ltd. so that they have the best possible basis for their work to benefit us all.

Bottom: Hikers on the Accessible Trail at Rossland Range Recreation Site near Strawberry Pass.

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