Open Space and Recreation Strategy

The benefits of leisure, recreation, sport, play and open space are well documented, and the report highlights these and the links with community wellbeing. It goes on to identify leisure as core to Council’s provision of services and not ‘nice to have’ or superfluous to the community’s needs. Open space has many benefits including increasing levels of physical activity, reducing stress levels, enhancing mental health, adding value to properties, being a place for events and being good for the environment through biodiversity and active transport. Play and understanding its importance has also developed considerably in recent years and the need to acknowledge different types of play and the needs of children through various ages, means playspaces need to be designed accordingly and not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Cognitive, social and physical play opportunities are highlighted and how these align with the needs of a child as they play and age. Play is therefore discussed in terms of a hierarchy and a development model proposed which considers five elements of a playspace as being: ~Ac^A-^Aa Play equipment ~Ac^A-^Aa Imaginative and creative area ~Ac^A-^Aa Unstructured area ~Ac^A-^Aa Special features and ~Ac^A-^Aa Adult/carer areas. Generally speaking, the more components a playspace has, increases its classification and normal use. Local, neighbourhood, district and regional playspaces are highlighted with components and design elements within each. Barriers to participation are evident across all communities and Council must ensure it acknowledges, identifies and attempts to implement strategies to remove them to enhance opportunities in quality time leisure activity and pursuits. These are discussed in the report to include things such as cost, ability, physical access, cultural background etc and Council must be aware of these if it is to make participation in leisure time activity as easy as possible for its residents. Numerous trends also impact on the way people recreate and these invariably shift with time. Such trends include a shift toward more unstructured activity (outside of the club setting), whilst also acknowledging that in a community the size and location of the CGVC, sport still remains a pivotal component of our community’s fabric and identity and must therefore be supported. The role of Council in leisure delivery is also multi-faceted and the reports highlights five possibilities being: ~Ac^A-^Aa A direct service provider ~Ac^A-^Aa Owner custodian ~Ac^A-^Aa Advocate ~Ac^A-^Aa Initiator/Facilitator ~Ac^A-^Aa Information provider The delivery of services is also three pronged in that Council can: ~Ac^A-^Aa Directly manage or deliver services (in house) ~Ac^A-^Aa Outsourced to community groups or ~Ac^A-^Aa Outsource to the private sector to manage facilities on its behalf. Each of these offers advantages and disadvantages and each service or facility must be assessed in isolation rather than a blanket approach. Council currently uses all three management options but in the main outsources to community groups to manage and deliver its facilities and services through Recreation Ground Committees within its townships. Understanding and implementing the above though a policy framework, will form a solid foundation on which Council can respond to issues as and when they arise, as well as being proactive in its strategic approach to the provision of quality leisure time activities and open space across the region.



Geographic Coverage

South Australia


Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council : 2020