Funding awarded to boost physical activity in District 69

Money to be used to address accessibility and barriers to programs and amenities

The Regional District of Nanaimo Recreation and Parks Department was recently awarded $74,160 to help support a number of initiatives aimed at improving accessibility and opportunities for physical activity.

The funding was provided by Island Health and is being administered through a grant program managed by B.C. Healthy Communities Society, in partnership with the B.C. Alliance for Healthy Living.

“This funding is appreciated and helps us achieve various aspects of our current focus on recognizing community mobility and recreational amenities as core services,” said RDN chair Bill Veenhof. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with funding and community partners to add more value to our communities.”

The RDN Recreation and Parks Services Department has identified a number of initiatives that, in partnership with community groups, will address accessibility and barriers to physical activity focused programs and amenities within the District 69 service area.

The first initiative is to conduct a review of fee structures, rental polices and established guidelines in place at publicly owned facilities in which public recreation programs take place.

Along with the review, a social inclusion audit will be conducted. Social inclusion involves ensuring that everyone within a community experiences a sense of belonging.

The audit will go beyond physical accessibility and include a review of how people feel when they visit the facilities being audited.

In addition to the reviews and reports, the department will work with community partners, such as the School District 69 (Qualicum), in making modest improvements to public spaces that encourage physical activity.

These could include improvements such as installing basketball hoops at playgrounds or installing play boxes at former school sites and in municipal parks.

— NEWS staff/RDN submission

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