Canadian Parks and Recreation Association defines recreation as “the experience that results from freely chosen participation in physical, social, intellectual, creative and spiritual pursuits that enhance individual and community well-being.”
According to a Rural Recreation Association report, just as infrastructure and taxes hold a competitive advantage for industrial development, lifestyle amenities are competitive advantages to encourage local economic development.
It's nice to see Rocky View County embrace this realization and strive to provide recreation opportunities with the improvements to Lasso Trail.
Parks and recreations services, according to benefitshub.ca, provide a number of economic advantages including attracting businesses to communities, increasing tourism and acting as employment generators.
Parks also benefit the municipality by increasing property value and tax revenue on adjacent lands.
Aside from the economic impacts, these spaces improve quality of life. A Laidlaw Foundation report indicated investment in recreation – particularly investment in youth recreation – increases self-esteem, improves academic performance, improves health and lowers crime rates.
It went on to state these spaces pay for themselves by reducing the use of social and health services.
RVC is not perfect, but it does acknowledge the impact of recreation, which is something to celebrate.