one drives around the neighbourhoods of
becomes quickly apparent that our playgrounds are in need of attention.
Old timers recall the time when playgrounds were actually the “community
centers” for neighbourhoods. During the summer there were programs for
the children. During the winter, the clubhouse was open every day, all
day, and the rinks were well maintained. Those were the days when public
funding for recreation programs was readily available. Not only did the
municipal employees maintain the grounds, but the facilities and equipment
was something that you could be proud of. Indeed, staffing of the
playgrounds was guaranteed.
neighbourhood playground associations are struggling in an uphill battle
to build any kind of community spirit. Admittedly, there is a problem
finding volunteers willing to put in the hours to operate these facilities
and programs. However, the question to be asked is, “Should residents be
responsible for local playgrounds, or should this be something that you
receive for your tax dollars?”
Councillors may be approving the spending of up to $250,000 to hire a
consultant to prepare a feasibility study on the construction of a major
convention center that may then cost millions of dollars of tax dollars to
develop. While there is no question about the positive impact a major
facility such as this can have on the entire Greater Sudbury Area, one can
only imagine what our communities would be like if each playground in the
area received a budget of $50,000 a year to cover the cost of staffing,
equipment and maintenance. Imagine how it would look to outsiders to take
a tour around the region and see vibrant, well-maintained, well-equipped
playgrounds in every major subdivision. One can only imagine.
this election period, it is expected that there will be a lot of
discussion about the state of our recreation facilities. Instead of
spending millions of dollars building one huge facility, many taxpayers
would like to see the money spread around to the local playgrounds.
for election will be required to make a clear statement about where they
stand on neighbourhood recreation facilities.