For smaller or mid-size communities, recreation programming can be hard to come by. In a unique partnership the Village of Christopher Lake, the Village of Paddockwoord, the RM of Paddockwood and the District of Lakeland combine under the umbrella of CPL Recreation to give sport, culture opportunities, and recreation experiences to people in the region.
“What we do is apply for funding and then we would put on different types of programming for the four communities,” recreation director Linda Rogozinski said.
Recently CPL Recreation received funding of $8,000 for a Wellness Adventure from the Prince Albert & Area Community Foundation to provide children of all ages to learn about the environment, shorelines and forest education in weekly sessions.
“We are going to do a lot of education for kids between the ages of three years and up and that is going to be all about conservation of our shorelines, our parks, learn about trees, about nature, identifying plants and just that kind of education. And there is a lot of fun to it too, going into the water and exploring the different species that are in the water,” Rogozinski said.
“Education or research will tell you that if we can get some education to our youth about preserving our shorelines and parks and that maybe things will last longer,” she added.
The origin of the CPL Recreation program dates back to a provincial government funding initiative through the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) for recreation for approximately nine communities. According to Rogozinski, the District of Lakeland received the funding and it was funded for one year. The program was such a success that they expanded to the four areas they now cover.
“So the communities got together and said, ‘hey if we all pitch in a little bit we can keep this position going and then the director would apply for grants in order to keep the program going’ and that is how it has all worked. So they eventually ran out of the funding,” she explained.
It’s now funds based on the population of the four communities.
The board of CPL includes representatives from all four regions represented.
For other projects as recreation director Rogozinski is always trying to be creative.
“I applied for a grant through Sask. Lotteries so we have an archery program that is going to start up sometime this summer, I am just waiting to find out about my equipment coming in. That wasn’t very much money but I have an instructor and we were able to get a few bows and so we will go put on an instruction course,”
Another example is traditional dance for First Nations which was put on through one of the area schools. That programming had to be cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will wrap up this fall.
They also hire summer students through initiatives sponsored by the SPRA including Take the Lead and High Five that create opportunities for students in parks and recreation.
“Last summer we did parks programming where myself and another student went around to various parks and provided a day program, just sports and crafts and stuff like that,” Rogozinski said.
“But we also do some adult programming. I will partner with the libraries in Christopher Lake and Paddockwood, we have done some sewing classes,” she said.
According to Rogozinski they are trying to meet their mandate of supplying sports and culture programming to the region. They are also trying to put together after school programming for the rural communities
“Because there is that age group where they don’t really want to go to daycare and yet they are too young to stay at home. So CPL has been working and trying to partner with other organizations in the communities to see if we can’t get something like that going for the kids. Again that is where I would really rely on students that have already taken the Take the Lead and the High Five program to provide some good programming for the kids for those two or three hours that they need the supervision. I am really hoping that this fall we will be able to introduce and use that program,” Rogozinski said.