To help combat the rising levels of inactivity and body mass index rates in rural areas, the County of Wetaskiwin is providing the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA) with a $1,000 donation.
The funds will be used by ARPA in rural recreation meetings at the University of Alberta, investigating the state of recreation in rural areas and allocating necessary funds to Family and Community Support Services preventative programs.
“I think this is money well spent,” said Coun. Larry McKeever.
Geoff Lynch, director of leisure and community services, presented the request to county council during its May 2 general meeting. Lynch also sits on the ARPA board, which is a not-for-profit organization that receives some government funding.
“We advocate recreation,” said Lynch.
The two scheduled meetings will begin conversation on a number of areas of concern: Rural areas have significantly higher body mass index from those living in urban areas; The small number of organizations across Canada working together to promote physical activity in rural areas; Nearly 80 per cent of small municipalities report not using physical activity guidelines in programming.
“To go forward we need partnerships,” said Lynch.
Also partnering in the Rural Recreation meetings are the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, Alberta School Boards Association, Alberta Agricultural Societies, Alberta Public Health Association, and the University of Alberta.