Survey asks parents to identify recreation needs and barriers

A new committee based in Haliburton County is trying to create more after-school programs in the county.

Communities for Play founded this April released a needs assessment survey June 3 for parents and caregivers to identify local recreation needs and barriers.

Amanda Duncombe-Lee is a parent on the committee and says that finding affordable after-school activities can be difficult. “Especially during the long winter months there  aren’t a lot of options for younger kids in terms of after-school programming. They’ve got the highly structured activity that costs a little bit more money than some parents are able to afford like hockey” she said.

Duncombe-Lee who has a six-year-old son at Stuart Baker Elementary School began talking to parents earlier this year about starting a low-cost recreation program. From those conversations the Communities for Play Committee was born which includes representatives from Municipality of Dysart Recreation U-Links Centre for Community Based Research parent councils and an independent researcher and consultant.

So far their survey has been circulated mainly on Facebook but is also available in paper copy in the county’s libraries and municipalities.

Once they gather the survey results they will present them to the municipality and potentially to the school board in order to work together on implementing their programs.

As of now Communities for Play envisions programming that will include physical activities tabletop and roleplaying games creative arts yoga and a nutrition and growing food course according to Duncombe-Lee.

The survey deadline is being extended to June 30 and the committee hopes the programming can be implemented by next fall although Duncombe-Lee says it might be later than that because of tight timelines. Find the survey here: .