Saanich should seek more recreation opportunities

Re: Rec opportunities abound in Saanich, (Frank Leonard, Aug. 30)

Re: Rec opportunities abound in Saanich, (Frank Leonard, Aug. 30)

It was interesting to read the guest column by Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard.

I agree that Saanich has done pretty well over the years promoting parks and recreation and am pleased with the resources that they have put into various recreation programming and maintenance of parks land.

What I would love to see though is Saanich departments becoming more proactive instead of reactive.

It shouldn’t always have to be the community members requesting changes and making recommendations. It would be wonderful if at times Saanich could take the initiative and consult with the community in a meaningful way and this could mean to “think outside the box.”

A great example would be in the Shelbourne Village, Mount Tolmie areas.

Statistics and from surveys conducted for the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan, we know we have a high population of seniors and students who live in this area. But what we don’t have is a community centre.

The ideal spot for one would be the vacant Rogers Video space on Shelbourne Street.  It wouldn’t take that much too run and guaranteed that many volunteers would come forward to help with programming, etc.  And what a wonderful community collaboration of seniors, students, youth, local merchants and the municipality it could be.

This is just one example of community engagement and a reminder to all residents not to be shy about sending your ideas and interests to Saanich.

We know that not everything is feasible, but as taxpayers you do have a right to voice your opinion. Maybe this is something to keep in mind as the next municipal election is coming up in 2014.

Marlene Bergstrom

Saanich