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SPRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Director for Villages Taylor Morrison

Director at Large Heidi Carl

Director for Cities Jody Boulet

Director for the North Tonia Logan

Director at Large Ken Ottenbreit

Director for Towns Jaime Helgason

Director at Large Chrisandra Dezotell

Director at Large Jennifer Burgess


Saskatchewan Ice Makers - The Unsung MVPs of the Heritage Classic


How to Significantly Reduce Ice Rink Heating Costs


Fall Means Springing into Action


The Puck Stops Here


Treating Our Ash Addiction


Trails, Pathways and Sidewalks - Shaping Your Community 09 Supporting Recreation Professionals 11 Youth Friendly Culture in the Workplace 12

Have an Ice Day Upcoming Events Snowmobile Safety Tips Let’s HIGH FIVE! Walking Soccer

President TJ Biemans

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LEADERSHIP TEAM Chief Executive Officer Todd Shafer Program Manager John Firnesz Field Services Manager Randy Durovick Communications, Information and Research Manager Chantel Doerksen Finance and Administration Manager Mark Sather RECREATION CONSULTANTS Information and Research Services Nancy Young

DIRECTION is published four times a year. The publication is provided to members of the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association. Direct all communications to:

Communications Lori Ross Christian Bates-Hardy

Grants and Funding Kacie Loshka Parks and Open Spaces Andrew Exelby Physical Activity and Fitness Wendy McKellar Leadership, Evaluation and Human Resources Karen House Facilities and Training Tim Hanna Youth Engagement Kelsey Michaluk Inclusion and Access Kristen Bialobzyski Assistant Consultant Chris Chepil

Administrative Technician Ryan Monks Administrative Assistants Kayla Lazeski Joanne Fikowski Tracy Malayney Lynn Bradley Chloe Truong

Regina Office: Phone: (306) 780-9231 or 1-800-563-2555 FIELD CONSULTANTS Jaclyn Davis Kerry Bailey Rob Boulding Dan Gallagher Clint McConnell Daniel Longman

ADMINISTRATION Executive Assistant Lois McNaught

Lori Ross, DIRECTION Editor #100 - 1445 Park Street Regina, Saskatchewan S4N 4C5 Phone: (306)780-9370 Email: Articles within this magazine are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of SPRA. Articles in DIRECTION may be reprinted, provided that full credits are shown for the author and the magazine.

Supported by:

OUR VISION We envision a Saskatchewan in which all people have equitable access to recreation experiences that contribute to their health and wellbeing; result in connected and engaged communitymembers; and provide connection and attachment to the natural environment. Find out more about what we can do for you by visiting:

Don Crowe - Parks and Facilities Manager for the City of Martensville, workshop participant


THE UNSUNG MVPS OF THE HERITAGE CLASSIC Rinks are the hubs of many communities across Saskatchewan, but rinks don’t run themselves. Behind smooth ice conditions are many hard working heroes who work up to seven days a week making sure the rinks are ready for early morning hockey games, figure skating practices, family fun time and so much more. This fall, Zane Buchanan, the 2019 Saskatchewanderer, got the chance to learn about this specialized skill from a group of rink operators at a workshop organized by the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) in partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) as a prelude to the Tim Hortons 2019 Heritage Classic in Regina. This workshop facilitated twenty Saskatchewan-based ice-makers from communities ranging from Weyburn to Cumberland House and provided an opportunity for local rink operators to learn from the best – Dan Craig, VP Facility Operations and Derek King, Senior Manager, Facility Operations from the NHL. This is the first time a workshop like this has been held with the NHL, thanks to Kameron Kiland. Kameron is a Saskatchewan local with three international Olympic Winter Games and numerous world championships under his belt. He met Dan in Torino, Italy, which established a partnership that continues to revive throughout their respective careers. Kameron lives at his family farm in Kelvington, Saskatchewan where he works for the Horizon School Division and makes ice on a contract basis. With Kameron’s connection to Dan, he was able to bring two of the industry’s heavy-hitters to manufacture a hockey rink from scratch. When an opportunity

of this scale arose in his stomping grounds, it goes without saying that he jumped at helping out at this Mosaic Stadium workshop. Bringing together twenty hockey enthusiasts and their two veteran mentors resulted in engaging discussions, with Dan and Derek providing solid advice and great stories from the NHL ‘glory days’. Dan is a native of Jasper, Alberta where he established his bond with the ice at a young age, working at his local rink in high school. That was the catalyst for a whirlwind career that landed him as the resident ice guru for the Edmonton Oilers during their ‘80’s heyday (hence the Gretzky reference). Since the NHL’s inclusion of the outdoor games in 2003, Dan has been the man on speed-dial garnering the title of VP of Facility Operations. Dan has been the head ice-maker for every Heritage Classic to date with the exception of 2016 (Winnipeg) when he had prior engagements with rinks in China. When Zane joined 33,000 hockey fans for the 2019 Heritage Classic ten days after the workshop, he was transfixed by the game and his new knowledge on the amount of work that goes into developing the ice. This workshop gave Zane a new appreciation for the true unsung MVPs of hockey – the icemakers! To follow the Saskatchewanderer, visit or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport


HOW TO SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE ICE RINK HEATING COSTS The costs associated with heating an ice rink can account for more than half of operating expenses. Although reducing costs is a concern, the other dilemma is ensuring ice rink spectators stay warm while the ice is kept cold. Read on to learn ways to balance the heat load of your ice rink with the refrigeration load of your ice rink chilling equipment and, in turn, help balance your budget. AN EFFECTIVE ICE RINK HEATING POLICY Ice rink owners are constantly searching for ways to lower energy costs. While using localized radiant heaters are an increasingly popular strategy, knowing when and where to use them is key. Creating and following a space-heating operations policy can extend overhead cost savings considerably. The most effective space heating operations policies center around two interdependent factors: â– Minimum air temperature â–  Maximum spectator capacity Simply put, the more people in a facility at a given time, the warmer the air temperature. Your ice rink heating policy should ensure enough heat is provided to keep the overall air temperature above 5 degrees Celsius while keeping the number of spectators present comfortable.

4-STEPS TO CREATING A SPACE HEATING POLICY Rather than guessing or arbitrarily assigning seating sections for space heating, we recommend starting each season by conducting informed research and creating a space heating strategy based on your findings. Follow these steps to establish a plan for where and when radiant heaters should be used: 1. Create an ice rink seat map Obtain a map of your arena or create your own. If you already have the sections labelled, determine how you will identify each section of the seating area and record it on the map.


2. Create an ice rink occupancy code Using the event schedule for the season, study and assign each event an expectant occupancy code from 0 to 5, where 5 is the maximum number of spectators (e.g. home game), and zero being 10 or less expected observers (e.g. practice). 3. Collect and record data Observe 3-5 events per occupancy level and record where people primarily sit during these events by listing the sections per designated seating areas that you determined in step one. 4. Create your ice rink space heating operations policy You should now have the information needed to identify which heaters to use and for how long each will need to be in operation. Post your seasonal space heating operations policy along with the seating map in a visible location for staff. Berg Chilling Systems works to provide ice rink chiller owners and operators with the information and service they need to keep their refrigeration systems operating efficiently. Please contact us for more information for tips on heating your ice rink and strategies to keep your rink operating at its peak performance. Regine Marie Salvador Marketing and Business Development Coordinator, Berg Chilling Systems Berg Chilling Systems is a SPRA Commercial Member

FALL AND WINTER MEANS SPRINGING INTO ACTION! If you are like me and starting to feel a little too cold this time of year, I know one sure-fire way to heat you up! Yes, its budget time. Nothing can warm the soul as much as lively debates about how to spend scarce resources in the context of aging infrastructure. Be honest, some of you are starting to glow just thinking about this. Budget time is the time to think about the “Wellness” of our parks and recreation facilities, programs and services. As some of you know, the theme for this year’s conference in North Battleford was “All Aboard the Wellness Train”. Wellness can take on many forms. It can be as singular as personal wellness or as broad as community wellness. Those of us in the parks and recreation sector are familiar with both ends of this spectrum. From a facility perspective, budgeting is a crucial time for you to determine your priorities for the next fiscal year. Do you have the tools and resources to support your ideas? Let’s review what some of those indispensable tools may be. First, if you have an asset management plan then you are ahead of most parks and recreation departments. One of best arguments for creating an asset management plan is decisions are made based on empirical data and facts. Decisions are less likely to be based on political whims and winds. It is hoped that you are starting to inventory your assets and creating a spreadsheet (or using a database) to help establish your priorities based on their life cycle and life expectancy. Second, do you have a 5-year capital plan? Is it consistent with your asset management plan? Are the estimates accurate or do they need updating? Having a rolling 5-year capital plan will help identify funding and priorities to help guide your way. Third, your operating budget should be based on goals and objectives. For example, the operating budget should provide details on summer programs like revenues and expenditures. Your operating budget should show what repairs and maintenance will be done in your facilities in the upcoming year.

Some examples: have you budgeted for more shale for the ball diamonds or gravel for the trail, or have you budgeted for a repair for the pool heater, and have you budgeted for replacing the brine pump in your refrigeration system? How about new LED fixtures in your lobby? These are only a few ideas. The important aspect here is your priorities be articulated through your operating budget process. These priorities are your goals and objectives for the next year. Are they SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely)? Fourth is to communicate your plan and ideas. Stakeholders like to know where you are going. I have seem many times where a stakeholder hears of a plan, realizes there is a lack of funding, and will offer to assist. A good example of this is the need for a ball diamond groomer is identified in the budget process, money is difficult to find and yet a local supporter hears about this and picks up the tab. A win-win all because of your budgeting and communicating. Finally, timing is important. Decisions need to be make quickly so the planning, purchasing and logistics can be done without causing unnecessary delays. For example, if you are waiting on approval to get the pool boiler fixed, getting approval in July is well past the mark. The season has started, the pool can’t be shut down, and finding a contractor may be impossible since they have jobs booked for the next 6 months. As you look around to find your scarf, gloves or mitts, warm hat and coat, it should trigger your instinct to get your plans in place for the upcoming year. Get your budgets done and set your priorities, and timetable. Remember – it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark, but he knew the rain was coming. Get your parks and recreation facilities ready just like Noah. Tim Hanna SPRA Consultant, Facilities and Training


THE PUCK STOPS HERE For many Canadians, the arrival of fall/winter means one thing − hockey season. This year, there has been much attention paid to Hockey Canada’s ban on bodychecking for players in the peewee age group or younger. Little attention has been given, however, to another group often injured at hockey games each year: spectators.

THE HISTORY Spectator injuries are as old as the game of hockey itself, though response to the injuries has been a long time coming. In the mid-1950s, Conn Smythe decided to replace the chicken wire fence at Maple Leaf Gardens with plexiglass after a fan was struck in the mouth and lost several teeth. Fastforward almost half a century to Winnipeg in 2000. Louise Lanthier was at her 16-year-old son’s hockey game when a player tried to clear the puck along the glass. Unfortunately for Lanthier, the puck came over the glass and struck her directly in the eye, damaging her eyeball so severely that it caused permanent loss of sight in that eye. Shortly afterwards, Lanthier was saddened to learn of 21-year-old Chad Hildebrand’s death in Winnipeg. A shot flew into the crowd, glanced off a friend’s head and hit Hildebrand in the temple. He was taken to hospital, examined then released. Later, he collapsed at home and died one week later following the injury. It was this news that turned Lanthier from Hockey Mom into Hockey Crusader. Lanthier campaigned to have the City of Winnipeg install protective netting at all its arenas. She felt the city should at least install the netting on half of each arena to give the spectators the option of sitting in a protected area. In 2000, Lanthier got her wish when the City of Winnipeg strung netting around the entire playing surface at 30 public rinks in the city. Total cost: $44,000. 05

In 2002, the NHL Board of Governors followed Winnipeg’s lead under similarly tragic circumstances. Thirteen-year-old Brittanie Cecil died two days after being struck in the forehead by a hockey puck at a Columbus Blue Jackets’ game. Three months later, the NHL ordered the installation of protective netting and standardization of the minimum height of glass around the rink. Despite a league report finding its arenas to be safe, commissioner Gary Bettman said, “We're doing it because we think it's the right thing to do after what has happened.” Spectator deaths are rare at hockey games. Indeed, Cecil’s was the first recorded death of a spectator at an NHL game in more than 85 years. However, statistics for hockey spectator injuries still tell a dangerous tale. One study found that during 127 NHL hockey games, pucks injured 122 people; 90 required stitches and 57 required transport to hospital emergency room. That same study reported that women and children were 2.6 times more likely to be injured at a hockey game than adult males. While those statistics make the decision to install protective netting at all arena facilities seem like a no-brainer, negative reactions from hockey fans have prevented rapid implementation in North America. In 1993 (before the NHL mandated netting in all rinks) Calgary’s Saddledome hung netting. The overwhelmingly negative reaction from fans brought the netting down after only one game. The difference between European and North American attitudes toward netting is marked. International Ice Hockey Federation official, Szymon Szemberg, saw the difference when attempting to install netting at The Peaks Ice Arena for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. “People in North America are no less aware of the danger than Europeans,” he said, “but the business aspect is more important (to them) than safety.” Hall of Famer goalie Ken Dryden agreed, comparing the acceptance of protective netting at hockey games to the

introduction of masks for goalies in the 1960s. “The first few times, fans would focus on the reality of it, just like people notice any change. Soon they wouldn’t.” Bettman commented similarly to the New York Times: “In less than three minutes, people won't even know it's there.” The predictions of Dryden and Bettman appear to have been realized as, little more than a decade following the NHL’s decision to install netting, the debate has diminished entirely.

LEGAL ISSUES Liability for spectator injuries has shifted decidedly in favour of sports teams and facility owners over the injured parties as the assumption-of-risk concept generally applies and − except under extraordinary circumstances − spectators injured by objects at sporting events almost never win damages. In a 1986 judgment following a broken jaw suffered from a foul ball at a baseball game, a court stated, “spectators accept the inherent dangers in a sporting event and assume the risk of injury insofar as such risks are obvious and necessary.” Seeing no discernible difference from a legal standpoint between a flying puck and a batted baseball, court rulings involving injuries to hockey spectators are similar. In Sawyer vs State, a hockey puck injured a 13-year-old girl. The court stated that, “she admits to having seen pucks striking the (protective) net on her previous visits to the arena and…it cannot be said that a reasonably prudent person of (the plaintiff's) years, intelligence, and degree of development, would not have zsfully appreciated the danger and, hence… assumed the risk.”

THE SASKATCHEWAN EXPERIENCE The hundreds of community rinks located in Saskatchewan’s urban municipalities are no exception to the issue of protective netting. The SUMAssure Insurance Reciprocal is in the process of completing risk control surveys at 125 facilities across the province. All facilities insured under SUMAssure with a value of $2,000,000 or greater are being surveyed to review exposures to loss including property-risk exposures such as fire and flood and general-liability exposures that could potentially be affected by the protective netting issue. SUMAssure prides itself on its focus on risk prevention, control and management rather than just collecting premiums and paying claims. SUMAssure does not rely exclusively on legal liability to determine whether or not a dangerous situation requires attention from a subscriber. Just because SUMAssure subscribers have common-law precedents on their side does not mean that our members simply accept 150-kilometre-per-hour flying projectiles as a fact of life in their facilities. The four risk-control engineers conducting the surveys on behalf of SUMAssure have all recommended improvements to spectator protection including the height of glass above the boards and protective netting and SUMAssure subscribers are taking notice and making improvements. This recommendation comes from one of the survey reports: The current spectator seating arrangement allows for patrons to be accidentally struck by flying pucks. In order to protect against this commonly occurring event, consideration should

be given to providing safety netting along the spectator sides of the rink. The CAN/CSA-Z262.7-04 (Guidelines for spectator safety in indoor arenas) is an excellent reference pertaining to the provision of netting. Additional protection should be provided if an object can travel in a direct line from the playing surface to an area where spectators and non-participants are located. Netting standards SUMAssure’s recommendation references the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standard CAN/CSA-Z262.7-04, Guidelines for Spectator Safety in Indoor Arenas. That standard provides guidance on safety to owners and operators, architects, planners, engineers, construction companies, construction contractors and appropriate inspectors in the design, construction and operation of indoor arenas. The standard is voluntary and is not retroactive. The standard recommends a board and glass system permanently surrounding each playing area, with a minimum height of 2.4 m at the sides and 3.05 m at the ends of the playing area when measured from the playing surface. Added protection systems may include a moveable board and glass system, or a moveable safety netting system. It also outlines measures to consider when an object can travel in a direct line from the playing surface to areas for spectators and non-participants, including: ■ Highly visible warnings on signs throughout the premises ■ Printed warnings on event tickets ■ Game-time announcements warning of potential dangers ■ Advising spectators to pay attention to objects leaving the playing area during games. SUMAssure supports the standard and views it as an excellent resource for those planning to improve protection for spectators. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities also supports the standard. You can find more information on netting and spectator protection in the Ontario Recreation Facilities Association (ORFA) Guidelines for Arena Dasherboards and Shielding Systems (2009).

THE COST Each municipality’s cost for protective netting depends on the configuration of a rink and its spectator seating areas. You can also choose from different materials, including Nylon, Kevlar and Monofilament. Black and white are the most common colours, with arena lighting affecting which colour is best suited to your facility. The 30 Winnipeg rinks outfitted for netting in 2000 were completed for less than $1,500 per facility on average. Today, pricing is estimated at roughly $5,500 to completely encompass a standard-sized rink with the latest fire-retardant indoor netting. But the Cecil, Hildebrand and Lanthier families would likely agree that is a small price to pay. AON is the Attorney In Fact for the SUMAssure Insurance Reciprocal. SUMAssure is Saskatchewan’s first ever Saskatchewan-domiciled insurance/reciprocal and is owned by more than 160 of our province’s cities, towns and villages. For more information on SUMAssure visit


TREATING OUR ASH ADDICTION Author Disclaimer: The only field in which I am an expert is my own. Pun intended. Please consult to see the results of the extensive trial conducted by the WNGG from 2007 to the present, along with a comprehensive list of tree ratings and recommendations compiled by Western Canadian nursery growers. It is my opinion that this list should be THE primary source for recommendations on trees in the Prairie Provinces of Western Canada. We are addicted to Ash (Fraxinus spp). Landscape designs in the Northern Prairie Zone (Zone 1a-3c) have used this Genus as an anchor tree forever and for great reason. It does everything we want it to do and we have a hard time imagining what the world would be like if we didn’t have it. We don’t have a lot of choices in our frigid zone. As with any eco system, the numbers of species that occur and thrive get fewer as the factors that pressure life get more and more extreme. Ash as an anchor of our designs is under threat and we need to figure out how to proceed. We don’t know exactly how this threat will manifest itself in the prairie provinces, and I’m not here to advocate erasing them from our lists. I think every tree has its place. But the question is on everyone’s minds. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle from Northern Asia capable of killing all the Fraxinus spp we use, has made its way from Detroit/Windsor in the early 2000s to Winnipeg MB (discovered late 2017). The current state of this infestation in Winnipeg is unclear as this is being written and summer reports show no new adults in traps in Winnipeg, but we await fall counts.

Emerald Ash Borer Regardless, this pest threatens urban forests in the northern Prairie zones to a much more significant degree than its previous path through the Midwest USA and Southern Ontario, due to the progressively diminished diversity of options available for urban forests in the colder zones. Between Ash and


Elm (Ulmus spp), these genera make up a majority of urban boulevard, commercial frontage and park plantings in northern prairie zones for multiple reasons. Should EAB fully infest our cities in AB, SK, MB and Northern Ontario, many cities will have a 9 figure bill on their hands for removal costs. Yikes! Elm has already been under threat from Dutch Elm Disease, though this threat is highly mitigated by the high level of preparedness of most Western Canadian cities. And the progress of DED is more of a slow march than the unpredictable and ‘viral’ spread of EAB. Many cities have a plan should DED occur. But the question remains…now what? The answer isn’t simple…Ash are used for many reasons and other trees are NOT used for many reasons. This article will glean over some of the more common trees available and explain their attributes and limitations in the landscape. In short though, there is an answer to overcoming this challenge, but it’s complicated. I believe the answer lies in adjusting our expectations, being creative in our designs and spending more time on the groundwork of landscaping…all the stuff we do BEFORE we plant the tree, mulch it, water it and walk away. The answer DOES NOT lie in simply ‘substituting Ash for something else.’

TREES ARE STILL GREAT! Despite this threat, I predict tree planting will continue to be an ever-increasing degree because the public is becoming more and more aware of the impact urban greenspace makes on the livability of our cities. Greenspaces reduce urban temperatures, absorb and slow the runoff of storm water, attract property buyers and provide space for casual and organized recreation. The Village Square is becoming an integral part of new neighbourhoods. Linear Parks have been designed to be part of larger bicycle and walking path systems that connect neighbourhoods to schools, parks and suburban business centres. And traditional streetscaping continues to be a priority for most cities. Trees are in demand, but future designs will likely not include many, if any, Ash.

WHY WERE WE ADDICTED TO ASH So here’s the meat of the article. Let’s analyse why we use so much Ash. For the rest of this article I’m going to ignore Elms. We still use them. We grind our teeth when we do, wondering if and when DED will ooze like an amoeba across our personal section of the map. But it’s a bit of a magic tree so we keep our faith in the pruning programs of our cities and the geographic distance between them.

Given any list, adding an exclusionary parameter makes it shorter. Let’s call not meeting these exclusionary parameters ‘Yeah Buts’. ‘The major 6 Yeah buts’ are the parameters I listed for why we used ash previously. So let’s look at some of the genera that comes to mind. I’m not going to go over all their attributes or all the selections available. What I’m going to do is explain the ‘Yeah Buts’ and suggest how to adapt to using these trees in our landscapes. Read the Next Edition of DIRECTION for Aaron’s suggested solutions to our Ash Addiction.

Emerald Ash Trees Turning Colour in the Fall Ash fulfill the following parameters: ■ Cold-hardy for our Zones. There are many clones among four species of Ash that do very well here. ■ Adaptable to varying soil chemistries. Our native soils vary from 7.0 to 8.3 (higher in reclaimed areas). From somewhat salty to nice and clean. Ash seems to live in all but the worst soils, and even in places lacking macronutrients (N.P.K) they seem to hang on.

Aaron Krahn B.Ed. Co-Owner of Lakeshore Tree Farms Ltd in Saskatoon Sk and President of the Western Nursery Growers Group Lakeshore Tree Farms Ltd is a SPRA Commercial Member Originally printed in Landscape Alberta Green for Life Magazine - November-December 2018 as part of “Treating our Ash addiction in Northern Prairie Zones”

■ Drought and flood tolerant. They are native to seasonal flood zones and are deep rooted and able to hang on in droughts. Once established, they are a long-term tree. ■ Big enough/fast enough. In a short time they provide significant shade and can be pruned up to a branching height up and out of our way. They are an “Umbrella Tree”, providing that much sought-after street canopy over time. ■ Clean enough. Many seedless clones exist. That’s always nice. They don’t throw up suckers or spread. No fungal or bacterial blights. No serious trunk rot issues if their struc ture is maintained. Up until EAB one could say that most clones were free from pests that threatened their viability in the landscape. While Cottony Psyllid, Ash Cone Roller, various scales and Ash Plant Bug are an issue, they are either specific to particular types of Ash and/or the infesta tions come and go with weather, site conditions, tree health and are at least subject to some level of predictable chemi- cal control at last resort. ■ Propagate easily/transplant easily. Producing thousands of Ash clones on a regular basis, all looking the same, all meeting structural specifications and moving them to job site in a healthy condition has been refined by nurseries and landscapers in the prairie provinces to the point where it has become standard procedure. We have become very good at it. Now read the list over again. And again. Memorize it for future reference. You’ll need to know it to help answer the following question:

“So what can I substitute for Ash?” followed by “Yeah but…” 08

Meewasin Trail network in Saskatoon, SK.


SHAPING YOUR COMMUNITY As a society, we often underestimate the benefits of connected trails and pathways in our neighbourhoods. They are too frequently an afterthought to community development. It is important to remember that while large-scale infrastructure (e.g., multi-use recreation centres, arenas, aquatic facilities) can be critical investments to creating vibrant communities, we should not discount the wide-ranging benefits of smaller-scale infrastructure investments such as well-planned connected trails and pathways. In a sense, the two work together and are part of approaching community and recreation planning in a holistic way. Atlwest Communications recently worked with the City of Estevan, Saskatchewan to complete a Recreation Needs Assessment that complements their Our Estevan Initiative, an initiative looking to renew their Official Community Plan. It was no surprise that one of the overarching themes from the study and from the Our Estevan surveys were that residents wanted to prioritize a developed trail network and more pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods. These are concerns that are not unique to Estevan but are a challenge all over Saskatchewan and North America. We know more now about the benefits of walking and being in nature than we ever have before, yet we often continue to plan neighbourhoods and open spaces without adequate sidewalks and pathways to join our neighbourhoods together and in essence create communities where we can live, work and play. Investments in dedicated trails, sidewalks and pathways are one of the most versatile pieces of recreation infrastruc09

ture that communities can implement. Trails are infrastructure that can be used throughout someone’s life, from being pushed in a stroller to walking as we age to maintain physical and emotional health. Active Saskatchewan recently released their 2019/2020 Strategic Plan, with a “common vision for increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary living in Canada”. One of the six opportunities it has identified is spaces and places that inspire physical environments and support all forms of movement. Trails address a diversity of needs across different demographic groups. Walking, running, biking and strolling for all levels of mobility can be accommodated when planned correctly. Often trails are through natural areas or contain elements of natural features such as trees, ponds, urban wildlife, or run adjacent to farmers fields. We know that the act of walking and connecting to nature reduces anxiety, depression and stress. Moreover, cost is reported as one of the biggest barriers to participating in recreation. Utilizing a paved or well-maintained trail requires little specialized equipment or financial input from the user. Instead one of the greatest barriers is that trails are sometimes far from our homes and difficult to access without vehicles. The simple fact is when people have ease in accessing trails, sidewalks and pathways, they integrate their use into everyday activities such as walking to school, work or sports fields/ facilities, socializing with friends, family and pets, for fitness, for meditation and relaxation and connecting with nature. All of these uses positively contribute to people’s quality of life and

wellness which translates to benefits in other realms such as reduced health care costs and safer communities. The benefits of approaching recreation planning and community planning concurrently is that we can start to think like a neighbourhood resident does – which is that the lines between ‘recreation’ and simply ‘living’ in our communities are very much blurred. Through this lens, we can view walking to the grocery store down the road as both recreation and an ordinary everyday task, but the option to carry out this task on a safe, dedicated trail, path, or sidewalk is an invaluable benefit when you live in a well-planned community. Looking forward, there is an opportunity to approach trails and pathways as a doorway into expansive possibilities for our communities. Something you can ask yourself today: How could trails and pathways open up new opportunities for wellness in my community? Chelsea Parent Atlwest Communications Atlwest Communications is a SPRA Commercial Member


SASKATCHEWAN COMMUNITIES THRIVE stakeholder and public engagement parks and recreation master planning needs assessments feasibility studies facilitation 306-242-2822


SUPPORTING RECREATION PROFESSIONALS The Saskatchewan Association of Recreation Professionals (S.A.R.P.) held their 50th Anniversary celebration and awards banquet in Saskatoon in September. The event brought together recreation professionals, including past/retired members, current members and future/potential members, to celebrate 50 years of success. S.A.R.P. is a member based organization committed to the recreation profession by representing and supporting current and future recreation professionals. The Association offers professional development opportunities for its members and advocates on issues related to the profession. The Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) is the proud recipient of the 2019 S.A.R.P. Employer Professional Development Award. SPRA is a leader in providing and supporting ongoing professional development for both staff and volunteers. The S.A.R.P. Employer Professional Development Award was created to recognize a Members' Employer who has: ■ Contributed financially, philosophically, or through time considerations to the continual upgrading and development of their employees in the recreation field ■ Encouraged their employee or employees to attend seminars, conferences, or engage in work of the Association through time considerations and/or financial assistance ■ Initiated innovative strategies to further the development of their employees

Our organization also has a Volunteer Time Policy that supports employees who wish to volunteer their time to programs that enrich the quality of life and opportunities for all citizens. Staff volunteer support can be provided to a program or agency that meets the following criteria: ■ Are either of personal interest or special interest to SPRA ■ Are considered to be of relevance to the Vision and Values of SPRA ■ Are committed to recognizing SPRA’s contribution in the spirit of volunteerism SPRA is an employer who has initiated innovative strategies to further the development of their employees because they know that the strength of the organization comes from the strong skills and expertise that the staff provide to the organization and to the recreation community.

In addition to offering group organizational development sessions for staff, employees are also encouraged to access the SPRA Professional Development Fund to support their individual pursuits of professional learning. Over the last three years, 36 applications to the SPRA Professional Development Fund have been approved, which provides the financial support and time for staff to attend their chosen learning opportunity. As an employee of SPRA, I have received funding to complete two courses of the Advanced Certificate in Local Government Authority from the University of Regina. I recently convocated with this certificate in June 2019 and now have a greater knowledge of the role of a Municipal Administrator in Saskatchewan. From the perspective of a SPRA Field Consultant and having previously served as an SPRA Board Member, I can attest that SPRA has been a leader in supporting the ongoing professional development of both staff and volunteers.


Pictured left to right, Master of Ceremonies, Mike Powell, SPRA CEO, Todd Shafer, S.A.R.P. Chair, Shelley Theon-Chakowsky, SPRA Past President, Coralie Bueckert Rob Boulding SPRA Field Consultant S.A.R.P. receives financial assistance from the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, through the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation.

YOUTH FRIENDLY CULTURE IN THE WORKPLACE I am currently finishing my degree and starting to apply for jobs and I admit the excitement does not come without confusion. There are so many uncertainties during this time. What do I want to do? Can I find a job that challenges me? Most importantly will an organization invest in my future growth both as a person and a professional? These are some questions that I am asking myself as I search through job postings, trying to find an opportunity where I can learn and grow as a professional. On that note, here are a few things that myself and other young professionals are looking for in a career.

WORK LIFE BALANCE It is important to me that my employer not only cares about my time at work but my quality of life outside of work. Employers that value and see the benefit in helping their employees maintain a work life balance is an appealing benefit for young professionals. It isn’t just attractive to the employee but it benefits the employer. Maintaining work-life balance helps to reduce stress and prevents burnout in employees. An example of how employers can improve their employees work life balance is to allow staff to work flexible hours, meaning letting them shift their hours to best align with their life outside of work. This allows them to pick their kids up from school, or work out in the morning. By doing this, employers can maintain a healthier, more productive workforce.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES Investing in professional development allows employees to be challenged to learn and develop new skills, which grow the employee and benefit the organization. A simple step for employers is to provide the funding and time for employees to attend Conferences and workshops in their respective fields. In turn, they are able to bring these skills and tools back to their position and their organization. Your employees are what makes a workplace go round. Investing in the human part of your organization is important. Whether that is through flexible hours, taking staff walks, or professional development. These are just a few things you as an employer can do to make your employees happy. By creating a meaningful and healthy work environment it will also attract and keep young talent in your organization. For myself as a young professional these are the types of organization I am looking to apply to and grow with. Ben Rumpel SPRA Fieldwork Student Ben is completing his Recreation Management Degree at the University of Regina

WORKPLACE CULTURE We only get one life and most of our lives are devoted to working. According to the World Health Organization, human beings will spend roughly 90,000 hours working during their lives. Therefore work, makes up approximately one-third of a humans’ adult life - that is a lot of time that individuals will commit to working. This is why it is important to create a healthy and positive workplace culture in your organization. An example of a way to improve workplace culture is to incorporate company walks into your break time. It gets employees up, active and promotes conversations outside of an office setting to build meaningful relationships amongst peers. Another thing you can do is to provide meaningful work to your employees. Investing in workplace culture will improve employee production, lower turnover and improve your employee’s quality of life.

Ben has always been an active participant in sport and recreation. Here he can be seen participating in high jump at the Canada West Games!


HAVE AN ICE DAY! Not only is it fun, but skating is a wonderful cardio activity. It gets the heart pumping, produces serotonin to fight off those winter blues and increases blood circulation which boosts the immune system. In short, skating outside in the winter is super good for you. There are also many physical health benefits, but for both kids and adults, participating in unstructured outdoor play is amazingly good. According to a number of studies, including one by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, unstructured outdoor play is helpful in the management of attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder, while other research has found that exposure to natural settings can contribute to children’s resilience and cognitive functioning. The only snag is, hockey teams and figure skating clubs can leave the ice schedule pretty full. A great option for cities and towns to provide this healthy and fun activity is an outdoor rink. In some Saskatchewan cities, outdoor rinks are found every few blocks. Neighbourhood volunteers do the lion’s share of the work, from flooding to shovelling and repairing cracks. 1 Stop Playgrounds is based in Humboldt and along with playgrounds and splash parks, we provide recreation and sport solutions as well. 1 Stop Playgrounds is partnered with two Canadian suppliers to bring all things recreation to its Saskatchewan customers. Whether your community is looking for some new, durable rink boards or a full setup with asphalt pad and boards. If you are lucky enough to have a rink location with a change building 13

and a water supply, you’re all set. However, if you need a water supply, 1 Stop Playgrounds can work with your municipality to arrange a deep curb stop. While it can seem like winter will never end, we know it will. That’s why some communities opt to bring in portable skate park components so kids can enjoy the rink surface in summer months as well. Another great option is to install a pair of goose-neck basketball hoops just outside the rink boards. Investing in a durable, easy-to-maintain outdoor rink means a greater quality of life and enjoyment for your residents. Prairie winters can be demanding with cold vehicles, slippery sidewalks and icy driving conditions making things a challenge. We know that getting active and enjoying the outdoors is the best way survive and even enjoy the cold season in Canada. 1 Stop Playgrounds provides both winter and summer recreation solutions and is your Saskatchewan neighbour. Look us up at Jesse Green 1 Stop Playgrounds 1 Stop Playgrounds is a SPRA Commercial Member

Spring Education and Training Symposium

April 27 - 30, 2020 (Humboldt, SK) The Symposium will provide recreation, facility, parks practitioners and volunteers with the latest information and trends in the parks and facility industry. Visit

SPRA Conference

October 21-24, 2020 (Estevan, SK) If you’re a professional or volunteer in recreation, parks, or facilities, this is one event you will not want to miss! You can expect national caliber keynotes and presenters, connecting with colleagues and experts from the field, timely learning about topics that matter most and entertaining social events. Visit


SNOWMOBILE SAFETY TIPS Before you snowmobile make sure that you understand and remember these important tips! ■ Make sure there is enough snow cover to ensure your sled

is getting enough lubrication. ■ Check condition of your snowmobile clothing and ensure you have adequate accessories for warmth. ■ Stay on marked or familiar trails. ■ Obey all trail signs, markers and speed limits. ■ Know and use correct hand signals. ■ Learn the language of snowmobile trail signage. ■ Service your sled for maintenance and repair. Check your belt, track, oil, grease, change old fuel, ensure tail and headlights are working, and place reflective material on sled for night riding. ■ Put together a safety kit and store it in the trunk of your sled. You will need a tow rope, first aid kit, survival food, spark plugs and an extra snowmobile belt. ■ Plan your snowmobile ride. Tell someone where you’re going so someone can find you if you are in trouble. ■ Obtain a snowmobile trail map of the area that you are riding in. ■ Learn safe snowmobiling. It is mandatory for all young riders born January 1, 1989, or later operating a snowmobile in public areas to complete a safety course. ■ Make sure your sled fits you. Can you start and lift the sled on your own? Is it comfortable? Can you maneuver it easily?

■ Join a snowmobile club in your area. 15

What to Wear:

■ Always wear an approved snowmobile helmet with face

shield with no cracks in either. Open face and closed face helmets are available. Electric face shields are available and will not fog. ■ Wear a balaclava (nylon, fleece or wool), snowmobile gloves, mitts, pants, jacket or one-piece snowmobile suit, boots and heavy outdoor socks. Buy the warmest gear available; don’t pinch pennies on snowmobile clothing and accessories. ■ Ensure the back of your jacket has reflective material. This will help the person following to have visual sight of you at all times at night. Also, place a reflective decal on the back of your helmet. ■ Wear a wrist mirror. This is an excellent safety device which enables you to check behind you without turning your body and causing your sled to swerve. For more information, visit: Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association receives financial assistance from the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, through the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation.

Kelsey Michaluk, SPRA Consultant – Youth Engagement Leads the HIGH FIVE® Training

LET’S HIGH FIVE®! Thanks to a partnership between Saskatoon Open Door Society and Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, 38 newcomer youth, ages 15-35, are now trained in HIGH FIVE®! The training, which is offered provincially by the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, was part of the larger vision of the newly launched Youth Leadership Initiative which is made up of a group of passionate youth who are seeking to become leaders in their local communities. This program was created in response to the needs identified by youth from all over Saskatoon at the 12th annual Voice of Youth Conference which is also hosted by the Saskatoon Open Door Society. Over the past decade, the Voice of Youth Conference has facilitated the bridging of Newcomer, Indigenous, and Canadianborn youth voices with those of prominent community leaders and decision makers. At the conference, youth have the opportunity to discuss relevant issues with individuals who are capable of implementing changes. This year, the conference took place on March 26th and was attended by over 200 youth, teachers and influential community leaders; including the chief of police and the mayor. At this year’s conference, the youth who attended identified and discussed many topics relating to the general welfare and needs of Saskatoon youth. Over the course of these discussions, two principal areas of concern, mentorship and employment, were identified as topics that needed to be further addressed following the conclusion of the conference. It was therefore decided that an initiative would be created to properly address these topics.

The Youth Leadership Initiative was consequently designed to follow up on the aforementioned topics identified at the 2019 Voice of Youth Conference. The program consists of trainings, team building activities, volunteer opportunities and site visits relating to leadership, mentorship and employment. The HIGH FIVE® Principles of Healthy Childhood Development training was a perfect match for the Youth Leadership Initiative’s goals as topics such as group facilitation, conflict resolution and leadership were discussed at length. Following the training, the youth who participated relayed to Saskatoon Open Door Staff that the HIGH FIVE® training had been incredibly beneficial to them and had given many of them a greater confidence in their leadership abilities. With the HIGH FIVE® training under their belts, the youth in the Youth Leadership Initiative will be able to build their resumes and gain volunteer experience, employment skills and leadership opportunities while having fun and meeting other young people. Participants will also have the opportunity to report on their experiences at the next Voice of Youth Conference in 2020. Zachary Wall Youth Program Facilitator, Saskatoon Open Door Society 16

WALKING SOCCER Looking to stay active? To keep fit and have a ton of fun? To enjoy being part of a team? To try something new?

UGO! Once upon a time, the playground was THE PLACE to make new friends through play. It’s about time we recapture that spirit. Northland Recreation Supply introduces…


What is walking soccer? This new, low-cost soccer format is breaking through barriers of traditional soccer and helping players get back on the pitch and introducing people to the game for the very first time. The game is played at a slower pace which makes it perfect for all skill and mobility levels and can be played on all surfaces including gym floors, grass, halls and church basements, and surfaces like tennis courts. That is what is so unique about the world’s beautiful game – all you need to play are some eager players, a ball and a few markers to line the field and mark the goals! Whether you are a parent or grandparent looking to find new ways to play with the kids, a competitive player who craves the feel of a ball at their feet, or someone who is looking to enhance their neuroplasticity and physical literacy, walking soccer is worth a try! We welcome you to come and check out a walking soccer event with one of our members FC Regina, Moose Jaw Soccer Association, or Saskatoon Adult Soccer! If you are interested in checking out all the soccer activities kicking off around the province or want more information on how to get started in your own community visit or like us and send us a message on Facebook. Saskatchewan Soccer Association is the sport governing body for the sport of soccer in the province. The Association seeks to grow strong people and strong communities through the delivery of the sport of soccer. Through the efforts of 69 Member Organizations across Saskatchewan, close to 26,000 individuals are served to grow and thrive. The Association works closely with these Member Organization to develop and produce innovative quality programs. Soccer is a lifelong sport that is beloved by billions of people around the world and SSA welcomes everyone to experience the love of the game with us at these new events. Eden Senger Coordinator of Special Projects, Registrar Saskatchewan Soccer Association

UGO is the most immersive universe that brings together imagination and traditional outdoor playground structures to the gaming experience by combining the latest technologies. UGO is a playground game console. Like the play consoles most of us have come to know, UGO has a screen and a central control panel that is connected to speakers, and a series of sensors that transform the play structure into a gigantic controller. And, just like a video game, UGO is interactive, coming to life on the screen and speaking to explain the rules, cheer good moves, and stimulate imaginations! There are other similarities to indoor games that kids will notice in the UGO playground console. Children can choose from six different games, and play competitively or cooperatively, individually or in teams. Each game takes players into an imaginary world with its own theme, special challenges, and sound and visual landscapes. Outdoor playtime has never been so captivating! Contact Northland Recreation Supply to secure your future UGO! Meegan Ward Northland Recreation Supply Northland Recreation Supply is a SPRA Commercial Member


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Profile for Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association

DIRECTION Winter 2019/2020 - There's No Business Like Snow Business  

DIRECTION is the official magazine of the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.

DIRECTION Winter 2019/2020 - There's No Business Like Snow Business  

DIRECTION is the official magazine of the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.