Recreation and Parks month has been in June since 2005, and was started in an effort to encourage Ontario citizens to be more involved with their communities. Brantford is among the many participating cities in Ontario, and the Brantford Parks and Recreation staff have scheduled many free and low-cost events that are suitable for all ages.
Director of Recreation, Sandy Jackson, along with other Parks and Recreation staff, has organized a month of activities at community locations such as the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre, Beckett Adult Leisure Centre, Woodman Park, Bell Homestead and Earl Haig.
Jackson stated that many of these locations have existing programs that are currently being run, and have simply made the programs free for their specified day. The purpose of Recreation and Parks Month is to spark involvement in the community as we begin to ease into summer. Jackson highlights the promotion of an active lifestyle as an objective for the month-long event.
Activities include swimming, woodcarving, yoga and more. Jackson also highlights that many of these city-run facilities operate based on membership, and that the memberships are typically low in cost. She states, “A membership to [Beckett Adult Leisure Centre] is $42.50, and that’s for the year.” Woodcarving, which is being offered for free on June 6, has a low cost of $0.50. “People come with a couple of quarters … and it goes back into maintaining the facility, buying new equipment, etc.”
While the Beckett Adult Leisure Centre is geared toward adults 55 years of age and up, the other activities being offered are suitable for all ages. Jackson also notes that many of the activities on the agenda are always offered for free. The trails around Brantford are always free to use, as well as the walking track at Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre.