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Red Deer recognized as parks and recreation leader

November 4, 2019 11:24 AM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

Red Deer was recognized as an Alberta parks and recreation leader as local organizations won three separate awards at the annual Alberta Recreation & Parks Association (ARPA) conference last month in Lake Louise. 

The APRA awards recognize outstanding achievements of individuals, groups and communities whose contributions to recreation and parks have greatly enhanced the quality of life of Albertans. This year, three APRA awards went to organizations in Red Deer:

  • Parks Excellence Award: The City of Red Deer, Discovery Canyon

The Parks Excellence Award recognizes achievements and innovative ideas in parks and open space operations. The renovation of Red Deer’s Discovery Canyon was taken on as a Canada 150 legacy project with The City working together with IBI Group Urban Design & Architecture. The modernization included repairs to infrastructure, installation of interpretive signage, construction of new playgrounds and decks, and the addition of wheelchair accessible ramps to improve accessibility. Since the renovation, visitors to the River Bend Golf & Recreation Area have increased significantly, proving Discovery Canyon remains a favorite destination for residents and visitors alike.

  • Alberta Advisory Board on Recreation for the Disabled (AABRD) Legacy Award: Rotary Club of Red Deer Sunrise Society

The AABRD Legacy Award recognizes achievements by individuals, communities and organizations that strive to advance integrated recreation opportunities for people with disabilities. After identifying a lack of inclusive play structures, the Rotary Club of Red Deer Sunrise partnered with The City and Mattie McCullough Elementary School to create The Access for All Playground Project. More than 50% of the playscape design provides barrier free opportunities for integration, interactive play and inclusion for people with unique abilities.

  • A.V. Pettigrew Award: Parkland Cross Country Ski Club

The A.V. Pettigrew Award recognizes Alberta Communities that have contributed to the improvement of quality of life of their citizens through recreation and parks programs, services, facilities and open spaces. Capitalizing on the momentum of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, the Parkland Cross Country Ski Club identified a need for enhanced recreation trail systems at the River Bend Golf & Recreation Area. The club raised over $400,000 through donations and grants, which was used to widen trails, improve slopes, install lights and increase accessibility and safety for all trail users throughout all seasons of use.

“We are honoured and proud to receive these awards,” said Barb McKee, Recreation Superintendent with The City of Red Deer. “Red Deer’s community-driven accomplishments powered by incredible volunteer energy and dedication are second to none and we are so proud to showcase that across the province and the nation.”

More information about Red Deer’s parks and outdoor recreation facilities can be found online at

For more information, please contact:

Barb McKee
Recreation Superintendent
The City of Red Deer

Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer

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