Supporting Marginalized Citizens’ Wellbeing During a Pandemic: The Critical Role of Municipal Parks and Recreation Departments
Presenters: Rachel Bedingfield, Recreation Director, Town of Kentville; Jackie Oncescu Associate Professor, UNB; and Mary Sweatman, Assistant Professor, Acadia University
Recreation and leisure are important mechanisms that can support residents’ capacity to cope with stress and deal with traumatic community events and are a critical source of community resilience in the aftermath of traumatic events. However, municipal parks and recreation departments across Canada were greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as many were forced to suspend all programming and access to public spaces and services. Municipal recreation providers had to re-evaluate their approach and adapt to meet community needs, especially those citizens that were marginalized from community recreation experiences. The purpose of this webinar is to share the research findings from a case study in Kentville, NS, that examined the role of municipal recreation in supporting rural low-income families’ wellbeing during the pandemic.
This webinar will highlight the important role of the municipal recreation departments in navigating community crisis, discuss how and why recreation provisions were redesigned within the Town of Kentville during the pandemic, and the role and benefit of partnerships in delivering recreation provisions during a community crisis. These findings shed light on how municipal recreation staff build effective collaborations to address and support community resilience during times of crisis, such as the pandemic. As well as provide insight into building partnerships that can strengthen the facilitation of recreation and leisure services in the community to address broader social and economic inequities that prevent rural, low-income families from accessing recreation and leisure.
This webinar is part of the NSFM Webinar Series and is being offered free of charge to NSFM Members.
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