A master plan for River Bend Golf and Recreation Area will be in front of council on Monday.
The plan, which lays out a new 20-year vision for the community amenity, focuses on ensuring access to nature, parks, trails and recreation. If approved, it will serve as a planning tool and road map to guide operations and decisions for River Bend going forward.
“River Bend is a not-so-secret community gem that offers diverse activities enjoyed by so many citizens and visitors to our city,” said Sarah Tittemore, community services manager.
“They want us to foster a place and space where they can connect - connect with the history of the site, with nature, with each other and with themselves.”
In building the master plan, consultation occurred with the public and key community stakeholders, including sport and community user groups, River Bend Golf and Recreation Area Society board, Indigenous Community members and the community at large.
More than 1,000 participants engaged in the consultation process through input sessions, workshops and surveys. A draft plan was then shared with participants.
The key themes that emerged through consultation were:
- A love for River Bend
- Protecting the environment
- Improving safety
- Encouraging harmonious use of the site
- Expanding year-round use
- Enhancing infrastructure and amenities
These themes are represented in the master plan, the City of Red Deer said in a press release on Friday.
“River Bend Recreation Area is a community amenity, and it is important the master plan reflects the needs and wants of the people who love it most – the people of Red Deer,” said Tittemore.
“But this is just the beginning; the start of the good work ahead that includes implementation, planning and potential changes to how and what we operate to meet The City’s goals for the site.”
Within the master plan, there are 11 guiding principles, which are directly connected to the key actions and goals, which are also identified in the plan. These principles include protecting the natural environment, connecting people and nature, and supporting accessibility for the general public.
The City of Red Deer is the registered owner of the land at River Bend Recreation Area. Since its opening, the area has been operated by a third-party operator: The River Bend Golf and Recreation Society.
A new operating agreement is also in place between The City of Red Deer and River Bend Recreation Society. On Monday, the City of Red Deer will also consider second and third reading of the River Bend Recreation Area Borrowing Bylaw amendment.
To see a copy of the new master plan, visit reddeer.ca/riverbend.