There seems to be days, weeks, and months, designated to celebrate everything from important things such as Remembrance Day and Canada Day to those frivolous days marking our love of bacon, or apple pie.
With the increasingly long list of ‘days’ marking all manner of things it becomes more and more difficult to catch people’s attention when something worthy of our collective attention is marked.
June is just around the corner, and with that comes the national initiative, June is Recreation and Parks Month (JRPM), an event marked at Yorkton Council but perhaps not of highest priority for many of use.
Yet, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put some extra focus on the importance of local recreation.
On one hand, the closure of facilities hit many in the community.
Being active for many has meant playing recreational hockey, curling, hitting the racquetball court, playing pickle ball, and other opportunities normally available locally. When the facilities closed it left a void that was felt by many, not just in terms of physical fitness, but getting out and playing sports is a way to clear our heads too, to get away from the mental strains of paying the bills, and heading to our jobs.
As our world nears something more akin to normal, we look forward to our recreational facilities fully re-opening.
When it comes to parks, Yorkton has a rather broad range of outdoor opportunities, which perhaps have been more important the past year as we have been more or less homebound leaving many of us creating our ‘staycations’ as an alternative to travel.
From tennis courts, to outdoor skating paths, to an active trout pond, to outdoor rinks, to the ecological preserve to the disc golf course and multiple playground equipment locations, people are able to get out of their houses, away from television and computer screens. That is always important, more so perhaps amid the pandemic.
Fortunately, the City has generally been very proactive in the development of recreation and park facilities.
You can cool off at local spray parks installed at Heritage Heights Park, Silver Heights Park and Ukrainian Pioneer Park, or grab your chess or checker set and play a game at one of the board tables around the city including the Gallagher Centre, Patrick Park, and City Centre Park.
There is the wheelchair accessible play structure at Weinmaster Park.
The aforementioned disc golf course and skateboard park and now consideration being given to a pump track, all of which add to the quality of life of our city.
Hopefully, June will be a time we pause to appreciate what we have, and maybe look at what might still be created to continue the local recreation legacy.