Community Services Master Plan

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Page Overview

Huntsville is growing and recreational needs are changing. A comprehensive strategy that reflects community priorities is needed to guide the Town’s investment in facilities, parks and programs over the next 10 years.

The Plan

The Town of Huntsville is preparing a Community Services Master Plan to guide the planning, budgeting, implementation, and delivery of stated goals and objectives within the Community Services division and as supported within the Town’s Strategic Plan. The Plan will seek to enhance the overall community quality of life, promote healthy living, and create a stronger sense of community.

With the help of Huntsville residents, service providers, and user groups, the Plan will explore current and future needs and develop strategies to optimize spaces and assets, expand programming, and integrate what is already available, but potentially underutilized.

The Master Plan will be based on research (community needs, population changes, trends, services) and public input.

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The Scope

The Master Plan will outline Huntsville’s priorities for community services such as, arts, culture, heritage, recreation, aquatics, leisure services/programs as well as meetings and events. The Plan will also consider all Town-owned facilities and parks and service delivery matters.

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Project Update

After initial public consultation the consultant has developed the Draft Community Services mission statement, goals, guiding principals and themes. Thank you Huntsville for your input.

Vision for Community Services

Setting a “vision” for the Town in the delivery of community services is the initial step in setting a strategic path forward. A strategic vision depicts how the Town wants to be viewed in the future and compels Council, staff and the community to work together to achieve their collective goals over time. The following vision statement has been in place for several years and remains relevant for community services in Huntsville:

A vibrant, inclusive, healthy community which inspires innovation and growth, celebrates the arts, culture, and heritage, promotes recreation while developing a resilient economy founded on social caring and environmental stewardship.

Departmental Mission

A “mission” directs the Department’s purpose, serving to provide direction and guide decision-making. The mission helps to translate the vision into everyday action.

The following updated mission statement is proposed for the Community Services Department in Huntsville:

Huntsville Community Services – everyone can engage in safe, quality, and inspiring active and cultural experiences.

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Goals

The overarching goals of this Master Plan are modelled after the national Framework for Recreation in Canada, which reflects the challenges and benefits of recreation, and thus provides a basis for evaluation. The priority areas also provide a common language within the sector and help align with City with other agencies and funding opportunities. There is strong alignment between the FRC and other Town of Huntsville plans and strategies, many of which identify community services as important contributors in creating strong neighbourhoods, enhancing accessibility and inclusion, supporting children and youth, designing age-friendly communities, and much more.

The following goals will guide the Town’s approach to decision-making and investment over the next ten years and beyond. Everything the Town does in relation to community services should further the vision and one or more of the goals:

  1. Active Living: Foster active living through physical recreation and leisure opportunities for all ages.
  2. Inclusion and Access: Increase inclusion and access to recreation for populations that face constraints to participation.
  3. Connecting People and Nature: Help people connect to nature through recreation.
  4. Supportive Environments: Ensure the provision of supportive and social environments that encourage participation in recreation and help to build strong caring communities.
  5. Recreation Capacity: Ensure the continued growth and sustainability of the recreation field.
  6. Arts, Culture and Heritage: Support the provision of a wide range of arts, culture and heritage opportunities available to residents and visitors alike.

Back to Top


Services Delivery

Town of Huntsville Community Services Delivery Model

Guiding principles are a set of value statements that the community and staff uphold in all plans and actions. It is understood that these actions will lead to greater participation, with high levels of service satisfaction.

  1. The Town works to understand community needs
  2. The Town seeks to identify the range of community service providers
  3. The Town works with groups to provide space and other supports, where appropriate
  4. The Town provides programs/services directly if it is more efficient and effective
  5. The Town monitors participation rates and satisfaction levels
  6. The Town makes improvements based on community feedback

Guiding Principles in the Provision of Community Services

  1. Citizens First - Measure Participation and Service Effectiveness
    We place our citizen’s parks, recreation and culture needs first and will strive to meet expectations through open dialogue and measuring service effectiveness.
  2. Great Experiences
    Our collective aim is to provide experiences that are welcoming and enjoyable.
  3. Increase Participation
    All collective efforts are focussed on increasing participation in recreation and cultural pursuits because of the benefits accrued to the individual and community.
  4. The Right Service Mix
    A choice of program and service types will be offered through the Town and through community partners to meet a variety of interests
  5. Intentional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusionary Action
    Different approaches are taken to include residents that have diverse needs in accessing and participating in programs and services. Appropriate and different methods will be developed through discussions with those facing barriers.
  6. Better Together
    Working together with like-minded organizations will ensure that services are coordinated and service priorities are addressed effectively.
  7. Quality Assurance in Services and Experiences
    All users of parks, recreation and culture facilities, programs and services will receive the benefit of compliance with legislation, safety, cleanliness, quality assurance, and knowledgeable customer-driven staff and volunteers.
  8. Outdoor Experiences are Critical to Healthy Outcomes
    We will promote use of outdoor spaces and their wealth of natural resources to result in healthier outcomes for residents and visitors.

Back to Top


Key Themes Arising from Consultations

Key themes from the initial public engagement phase are summarized below. These findings will be assessed along with community profiles, usage data, and promising practices from other communities to inform the Master Plan’s recommendations. They are presented in no particular order.

  1. Community Services are essential services – there is a need to demonstrate the benefits to the community and individuals in order to support and rationalize service levels. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important these services area to community health and wellness.
  2. The lack of a Town-wide Master Plan has made it difficult to identify and respond to community priorities. There is considerable interest in the directions that emerge from this master planning process, including those that could leverage community partnerships.
  3. Town has many excellent and unique facilities (e.g., Canada Summit Centre, Muskoka Heritage Place, Algonquin Theatre, etc.) that serve both urban and rural residents and visitors.
  4. The Town’s waterfront and lakes are very important features to residents and visitors – a priority should be placed on maintaining and enhancing safe and appropriate public access to these spaces.
  5. The Town’s programs, events and customer service are high quality, but more should be done to promote these offerings and ensure that they remain affordable. Many residents do not feel as informed as they should be about what is available to them.
  6. Delivery of services is coordinated through several municipal departments (Community Services, Operations and Protective Services, etc.) as well as community organizations and volunteers, underscoring the need for effective communication and mandate alignment.
  7. The Community Services Department has undergone significant staff changes and unique challenges due to COVID-19. An opportunity exists to examine departmental staffing levels and responsibilities to ensure that they align with corporate and community priorities.
  8. It will take time for many activities and organizations to recover from COVID-19, both financially and in terms of participation levels; there will be new costs and challenges arising from the pandemic that will need to be accounted for.
  9. Organizations are seeking improvements to existing facilities, such as sports fields, the Canada Summit Centre, Algonquin Theatre, Muskoka Heritage Place, Port Sydney Beach, and more. In addition, some municipal facilities are aging and are not fully barrier-free for persons with disabilities or mobility challenges.
  10. There is growing demand for unstructured, self-scheduled activities such as outdoor ice skating, pickleball, disc golf, hiking and biking trails, splash pads, etc.
  11. There is growing interest in a new multi-use facility that could house a variety of sports, such as indoor field and gymnasium activities.

Back to Top

Page Overview

Huntsville is growing and recreational needs are changing. A comprehensive strategy that reflects community priorities is needed to guide the Town’s investment in facilities, parks and programs over the next 10 years.

The Plan

The Town of Huntsville is preparing a Community Services Master Plan to guide the planning, budgeting, implementation, and delivery of stated goals and objectives within the Community Services division and as supported within the Town’s Strategic Plan. The Plan will seek to enhance the overall community quality of life, promote healthy living, and create a stronger sense of community.

With the help of Huntsville residents, service providers, and user groups, the Plan will explore current and future needs and develop strategies to optimize spaces and assets, expand programming, and integrate what is already available, but potentially underutilized.

The Master Plan will be based on research (community needs, population changes, trends, services) and public input.

Back to Top


The Scope

The Master Plan will outline Huntsville’s priorities for community services such as, arts, culture, heritage, recreation, aquatics, leisure services/programs as well as meetings and events. The Plan will also consider all Town-owned facilities and parks and service delivery matters.

Back to Top


Project Update

After initial public consultation the consultant has developed the Draft Community Services mission statement, goals, guiding principals and themes. Thank you Huntsville for your input.

Vision for Community Services

Setting a “vision” for the Town in the delivery of community services is the initial step in setting a strategic path forward. A strategic vision depicts how the Town wants to be viewed in the future and compels Council, staff and the community to work together to achieve their collective goals over time. The following vision statement has been in place for several years and remains relevant for community services in Huntsville:

A vibrant, inclusive, healthy community which inspires innovation and growth, celebrates the arts, culture, and heritage, promotes recreation while developing a resilient economy founded on social caring and environmental stewardship.

Departmental Mission

A “mission” directs the Department’s purpose, serving to provide direction and guide decision-making. The mission helps to translate the vision into everyday action.

The following updated mission statement is proposed for the Community Services Department in Huntsville:

Huntsville Community Services – everyone can engage in safe, quality, and inspiring active and cultural experiences.

Back to Top


Goals

The overarching goals of this Master Plan are modelled after the national Framework for Recreation in Canada, which reflects the challenges and benefits of recreation, and thus provides a basis for evaluation. The priority areas also provide a common language within the sector and help align with City with other agencies and funding opportunities. There is strong alignment between the FRC and other Town of Huntsville plans and strategies, many of which identify community services as important contributors in creating strong neighbourhoods, enhancing accessibility and inclusion, supporting children and youth, designing age-friendly communities, and much more.

The following goals will guide the Town’s approach to decision-making and investment over the next ten years and beyond. Everything the Town does in relation to community services should further the vision and one or more of the goals:

  1. Active Living: Foster active living through physical recreation and leisure opportunities for all ages.
  2. Inclusion and Access: Increase inclusion and access to recreation for populations that face constraints to participation.
  3. Connecting People and Nature: Help people connect to nature through recreation.
  4. Supportive Environments: Ensure the provision of supportive and social environments that encourage participation in recreation and help to build strong caring communities.
  5. Recreation Capacity: Ensure the continued growth and sustainability of the recreation field.
  6. Arts, Culture and Heritage: Support the provision of a wide range of arts, culture and heritage opportunities available to residents and visitors alike.

Back to Top


Services Delivery

Town of Huntsville Community Services Delivery Model

Guiding principles are a set of value statements that the community and staff uphold in all plans and actions. It is understood that these actions will lead to greater participation, with high levels of service satisfaction.

  1. The Town works to understand community needs
  2. The Town seeks to identify the range of community service providers
  3. The Town works with groups to provide space and other supports, where appropriate
  4. The Town provides programs/services directly if it is more efficient and effective
  5. The Town monitors participation rates and satisfaction levels
  6. The Town makes improvements based on community feedback

Guiding Principles in the Provision of Community Services

  1. Citizens First - Measure Participation and Service Effectiveness
    We place our citizen’s parks, recreation and culture needs first and will strive to meet expectations through open dialogue and measuring service effectiveness.
  2. Great Experiences
    Our collective aim is to provide experiences that are welcoming and enjoyable.
  3. Increase Participation
    All collective efforts are focussed on increasing participation in recreation and cultural pursuits because of the benefits accrued to the individual and community.
  4. The Right Service Mix
    A choice of program and service types will be offered through the Town and through community partners to meet a variety of interests
  5. Intentional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusionary Action
    Different approaches are taken to include residents that have diverse needs in accessing and participating in programs and services. Appropriate and different methods will be developed through discussions with those facing barriers.
  6. Better Together
    Working together with like-minded organizations will ensure that services are coordinated and service priorities are addressed effectively.
  7. Quality Assurance in Services and Experiences
    All users of parks, recreation and culture facilities, programs and services will receive the benefit of compliance with legislation, safety, cleanliness, quality assurance, and knowledgeable customer-driven staff and volunteers.
  8. Outdoor Experiences are Critical to Healthy Outcomes
    We will promote use of outdoor spaces and their wealth of natural resources to result in healthier outcomes for residents and visitors.

Back to Top


Key Themes Arising from Consultations

Key themes from the initial public engagement phase are summarized below. These findings will be assessed along with community profiles, usage data, and promising practices from other communities to inform the Master Plan’s recommendations. They are presented in no particular order.

  1. Community Services are essential services – there is a need to demonstrate the benefits to the community and individuals in order to support and rationalize service levels. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important these services area to community health and wellness.
  2. The lack of a Town-wide Master Plan has made it difficult to identify and respond to community priorities. There is considerable interest in the directions that emerge from this master planning process, including those that could leverage community partnerships.
  3. Town has many excellent and unique facilities (e.g., Canada Summit Centre, Muskoka Heritage Place, Algonquin Theatre, etc.) that serve both urban and rural residents and visitors.
  4. The Town’s waterfront and lakes are very important features to residents and visitors – a priority should be placed on maintaining and enhancing safe and appropriate public access to these spaces.
  5. The Town’s programs, events and customer service are high quality, but more should be done to promote these offerings and ensure that they remain affordable. Many residents do not feel as informed as they should be about what is available to them.
  6. Delivery of services is coordinated through several municipal departments (Community Services, Operations and Protective Services, etc.) as well as community organizations and volunteers, underscoring the need for effective communication and mandate alignment.
  7. The Community Services Department has undergone significant staff changes and unique challenges due to COVID-19. An opportunity exists to examine departmental staffing levels and responsibilities to ensure that they align with corporate and community priorities.
  8. It will take time for many activities and organizations to recover from COVID-19, both financially and in terms of participation levels; there will be new costs and challenges arising from the pandemic that will need to be accounted for.
  9. Organizations are seeking improvements to existing facilities, such as sports fields, the Canada Summit Centre, Algonquin Theatre, Muskoka Heritage Place, Port Sydney Beach, and more. In addition, some municipal facilities are aging and are not fully barrier-free for persons with disabilities or mobility challenges.
  10. There is growing demand for unstructured, self-scheduled activities such as outdoor ice skating, pickleball, disc golf, hiking and biking trails, splash pads, etc.
  11. There is growing interest in a new multi-use facility that could house a variety of sports, such as indoor field and gymnasium activities.

Back to Top

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded. Thank you for participating.

    Help shape the future of Community Services in Huntsville - take the Community Services Master Plan Survey.  

    Completing the survey helps us to understand local needs and preferences. Even if you are not able to participate in recreation activities as often as you would like, we still want to hear from you! The survey will be open until June 20, 2021. 

    Take Survey
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Page last updated: 08 November 2021, 16:56