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City Council to consider master plan for River Bend on Monday

November 18, 2022 4:00 PM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

A master plan for River Bend Golf and Recreation Area will be in front of Council on Monday, laying out a new 20-year vision for the treasured community amenity.

The plan focuses on ensuring access to nature, parks, trails, and recreation, today and in the future. If approved, it will serve as a planning tool and road map to guide operations and decisions for River Bend Recreation Area going forward.

“River Bend is a not-so-secret community gem that offers diverse activities enjoyed by so many citizens and visitors to our city,” said Sarah Tittemore, Community Services Manager. “They want us to foster a place and space where they can connect - connect with the history of the site, with nature, with each other and with themselves.”

In building out the master plan, consultation occurred with the public and key community stakeholders, including but not limited to, sport and community user groups, River Bend Golf and Recreation Area Society board, Indigenous Community members and the community at large. More than 1,000 participants engaged in the consultation process through input sessions, workshops, and surveys. A draft plan was then shared with participants to validate what we heard, and to make sure we got it right.

The key themes that emerged through consultation were:

  1. A love for River Bend
  2. Protecting the environment
  3. Improving safety
  4. Encouraging harmonious use of the site
  5. Expanding year-round use
  6. Enhancing infrastructure and amenities

All these themes are represented in the master plan.

“River Bend Recreation Area is a community amenity, and it is important the master plan reflects the needs and wants of the people who love it most – the people of Red Deer,” said Tittemore. “But this is just the beginning; the start of the good work ahead that includes implementation, planning and potential changes to how and what we operate to meet The City’s goals for the site.”

Within the master plan, there are 11 guiding principles, which are directly connected to the key actions and goals, which are also identified in the plan:

  • Protecting the natural environment
  • Connecting people and nature
  • Supporting accessibility for the general public
  • Educating people about the natural environment
  • Encouraging drop-in uses of the site
  • Supporting inclusivity
  • Balancing structured and drop-in uses of the site
  • Supporting tourism and encouraging visitation
  • Developing new amenities/facilities
  • Encouraging structured uses of the site
  • Increasing revenue generation and cost recovery

The City of Red Deer is the registered owner of the land at River Bend Recreation Area. Since its opening this area has been operated by a third-party operator, The River Bend Golf and Recreation Society. River Bend Golf and Recreation Area has continued to grow and evolve to serve the recreational needs of its users and the community at large.

A new operating agreement is also in place between The City of Red Deer and River Bend Recreation Society. On Monday, The City of Red Deer will also consider second and third reading of the River Bend Recreation Area Borrowing Bylaw amendment.

To see a copy of the new master plan, visit reddeer.ca/riverbend.

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