The Town of Ponoka received a 2016 ChooseWell Healthy Community Award this week from the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association.
The awards celebrate communities that successfully promote active living and a healthy lifestyle through parks and recreation initiatives.
“The award we’ve won falls under the ‘Developing Healthy Policies’ category,” says Wes Amendt, director of community services for the Town of Ponoka.
“Our new Recreation and Culture Master Plan is one of the main reasons we won the award. That document was created to guide the development of future recreation facilities, programs and services in Ponoka over the next 20 years. It plays an essential role in the promotion of health and wellness in our community,” explains Amendt.
Proposed new recreation multiplex
A major project identified in the Recreation and Culture Master Plan is the new proposed recreation multiplex. “That project is currently entering Phase 2 of the planning process, putting us much closer to being shovel-ready and able to apply for senior government grant funding as it becomes available,” says Amendt.
He notes that government grant funding, partnerships and access to alternative funding sources — such as community fundraising by groups like the Recreation Advisory Subcommittee — will be vital to the success of the project.
Phase 2 of the planning process for the new multiplex will include a second round of public consultation as part of a detailed examination of what the new facility will look like. “We’ll be meeting with individual user and stakeholder groups over the coming months as well as the general public to refine the current conceptual drawings and produce a detailed preliminary design of the proposed new facility,” explains Amendt.
More details about the planning process for the new recreation multiplex are available on the town website at www.ponoka.ca. The Recreation and Culture Master Plan can also be viewed on the town website under ‘Community’ and then by clicking on ‘Recreation’ on the left side of the page.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle a priority in Ponoka
“Of course, the Recreation and Culture Master Plan is about much more than a new multiplex,” says Amendt. “It’s about our parks, playgrounds, trail system and all of the special community events held year round in Ponoka — such as Ponoka Day in the Park and our Family Day activities. All of those initiatives contribute to why we received this Healthy Community award.
The award recognizes that promoting a healthy lifestyle, and providing the facilities and programs that make that lifestyle possible, are ongoing priorities in Ponoka,” he explains.