Parks and Recreation Master Plans in Ontario: Determining Factors that Lead to Implementation
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Recreation planning occurs in many Ontario municipalities, yet there is little research on the factors leading to successful implementation. Recreation departments are often asked to do more with less, which is difficult without a comprehensive plan. The current study examined nine Ontario municipalities to determine the factors that lead to implementation of their recreation master planning. Results revealed that there are many factors required for implementation, including: creating a comprehensive terms of reference, educating staff on planning principles, working with a planning consultant, working successfully with other municipal departments, involving a variety of stakeholders in the process, having the plan available to the public, and creating a method for reviewing and updating the plan. The study also found that the planning process should include: thoughtfulness when creating the terms of reference, extensive public consultation, effective staff consultation, frequent council input, consultation with a recreation planner, and a method for updating and reviewing the plan. The research also found that the plan content should include: goals, background information, internal and external resource, facility and program inventory, public consultation results, and an extensive implementation section.