The Central Cariboo Recreation Advisory Committee has released the results of a recreation survey it conducted in February.
The survey received 521 self-selected responses and was designed to help guide the committee in future decisions regarding recreation services in the community.
“It is always a good thing to hear what people have to say,” said Mayor Kerry Cook in a press release. “ It helps to provide input and understanding for future decisions.”
Of the survey respondents who indicated they used major community facilities — not including the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex — 49 per cent reported using the Esler Sports Complex regularly, 48 per cent use school gyms and 45 per cent use school fields. The mountain bike park was used by 31 per cent of respondents. The bike park received the largest portion of satisfied ratings and the school fields the most dissatisfied.
Of the individuals who participated, more than 90 per cent said they used the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex on a regular basis.
Those who said they did not use the facility gave reasons such as the fitness centre is too small; not liking the pool; or a lack of time.
When asked what they would like to see at the CMRC respondents replied: a larger fitness centre, improved pool change rooms, a new pool, improved parking, additional ice surface, and improvements to Rink 2 seating.
As for the City’s parks, 91 per cent of respondents said they used the communal green spaces; however, those who said they do not use parks cited safety as a concern, primarily at Boitanio Park.
Respondents noted they would like to see safety issues addressed at Boitanio Park as well as connecting the River Valley Trail with Scout Island and expanding Scout Island Park.
The city’s trail system received a general satisfaction rating of “very high.” However, respondents cited an interest in improving the access to and parking for the River Valley Trail, greater promotion of mountain-bike trails, connecting South Lakeside and Westside trails to the City and improving signage, maps and trailheads.
The creation of an indoor turf facility received the highest priority ranking for future projects; an improved pool ranked second; expansion of the CMRC and trail network was also identified as a priority; followed by a dog park and a new ice rink.
As to how to fund the improvements and projects, respondents suggested methods such as raising taxes, or raising taxes in combination with user fees. Government grants, corporate sponsorship and fundraising were also suggested ways to generate revenue. The survey is not considered scientifically valid due to the fact it was self-selected.