As our population increases, recreation and sport interests become more diverse, people are seeking a wider range of recreation and sport facilities and outdoor recreation opportunities. Larger areas are often needed to satisfy these demands. Increasing populations, changing technology, social expectations and expanding economic activities all contribute to increasing competition for the available land and the process of recreation planning.
Knowledge of trends, tastes, needs and preferences of the community with regard to sport and recreation is required in order to provide these communities with the widest range of appropriate, sustainable, quality opportunities in which they can participate, both now and in the future. Recreation planning involves collecting and analyzing information, to make sure the right facilities and venues for recreation and sport are developed and that the right places are protected to meet our future recreation needs.
Successful recreation planning for sports is based on consideration of current and future demand, existing options for meeting those demands, the nature of spaces required for particular activities, and the types of services that support particular activities:
Sport and Recreation works with local governments by:
providing advice and financial assistance to undertake recreation, sport and open space plans, and facility needs studies; and
participating in the planning scheme process and providing comments on the recreation and sport components of local government planning schemes.
Planners study a range of information including:
supply and demand for recreation facilities
participation rates in recreation activities
people`s views on recreation issues
the impact of recreation on the environment and
issues affecting user groups and land management agencies such as rock climbing and trail bike riding.
Facility planning is also a part of the recreation planning process. It helps local governments and organizations to make decisions about what facilities they need and where they should build them, based on supply and demand.
There is more attention being paid to how our communities are planned and designed to enable people to access places for recreation. This includes the development of walkways and cycle paths. In rural areas, it may also include horse trails. These linkages encourage people to move about together, which fosters a sense of social connectivity and gives a sense of community.
By being involved in recreation planning processes, you can make suggestions for changes to improve access to parks and other open spaces, shopping centers, schools, places of employment, transport and community centers. The community can also participate in both the recreation planning and the planning scheme processes. Notices usually appear in the newspaper or newsletters may be used to invite participation.
Community consultation is an important phase of the planning process and is an opportunity for you to identify, for example:
the community`s vision (preferred future) for recreation and sport
new parks which may be required
new or better located areas for particular activities such as skateboarding, trail bike riding
additional sports fields or facilities to allow for growth, or alternatively upgrading existing venues and
where linkages (e.g. walkways, cycle ways) between houses, parks, schools, transport, and shopping centres need to be developed.
Special Recreation Permits are authorizations, which allow specified recreational uses of the public lands and related waters. They are issued as a means to manage visitor use, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a mechanism to accommodate commercial recreational uses. There are five types of uses for which these permits are required: commercial, competitive, vending, individual or group use in special areas, and organized group activity and event use.
It is defined as recreational use of public lands and related waters for business or financial gain. When any person, group, or organization makes or attempts to make a profit, receive money, amortize equipment, or obtain goods or services, as compensation from participants in recreational activities occurring on public lands, the use is considered commercial. Examples: Outfitters and guides, jeep tours, horse trail and wagon train ride, cattle drives, and photography associated with a recreational activity.
It means any organized, sanctioned, or structured use, event, or activity on public land in which two or more contestants compete and either participants register an application for the event, or a predetermined course or area is designated. Examples: horse rides and mountain bike races.
Vendor permits are temporary, short-term, non-exclusive, revocable authorizations to sell goods or services on public lands in conjunction with a recreation activity. Examples: T-shirt sales in conjunction with a raft race, a hot dog stand at a motor cross event and shuttle services.
Organized Group Activity and Event Use
Organized group/event permits are for noncommercial and noncompetitive group activities and recreation events. Examples: A large scout camp out, a fraternity activity, a large family reunion, or a dual sport event.
Recreation permits are managed in a manner which is consistent with management objectives determined in resource management plans, recreation area management plans, or in their absence, through recreation management objectives resulting from analysis of resources and visitor use for each area.