Many agree that most of the community would like to see recreation services and facilities broadened in our community, and will become necessary as our community grows. Our community’s population is growing fast; likely due to the natural setting, affordable prices and small town community. The South Cariboo had a 5% increase in population between 2011 and 2016, whereas the entire CRD had a -0.6% decrease in population. This increase in population growth in the South Cariboo was the largest seen in the area in at least 20 years!
Improved recreation amenities have broad based support throughout the South Cariboo region. It’s just a matter of creating a vision for funding recreation that the community can get behind. This society was formed to be the catalyst for creating that long term vision of an aquatic facility while engaging the community in a constructive and positive way.
The population in the South Cariboo in 2016 was 13,124. The South Cariboo includes the following communities:
- 100 Mile House
- Cariboo G (Lac la Hache, 108 Mile Ranch and 93 Mile area)
- Cariboo H (From Mahood Lake to 100 Mile House, excludes Canim Lake Reserves)
- Cariboo L (Horse Lake, Lone Butte, Interlakes, and Deka Lake)
The largest demographic age group is the 45-64 years category, with 35%, followed by the second largest age group is the 65 years + category with 29% of the population. The demographic trends and population in a community tend to guide the design of an aquatic centre. The aging population is significant, as many communities have an increasing proportion of older adults. Other rural communities that we’ve connected with experienced quite a few new families moving into their area after the opening of an aquatic facility. There is a need to accommodate all ages when designing a community recreation facility. Activities that appeal to all age groups can be offered in an aquatic facility; infants through mid-teens access instructional programs the most frequently, while middle-aged to older adults access a pool for fitness opportunities.
We want to see recreation services expand and bring new opportunities to the South Cariboo- an aquatic complex with other amenities such as multipurpose rooms to host meetings, parties, classes (dance, art, pottery, holiday, music, and so much more), a gymnasium, an indoor walking track, an indoor play place for parents and kids to escape the weather outdoors, a climbing wall and many more. We understand that there are many different interests in the community and we’d love to try and make it happen. Most projects are often built in phases as the community grows. If we don’t plan for growth, we can’t plan for our future.
Recreational amenities will play a key role in our region’s economic stability by attracting new business interests, skilled professionals, tourism, employment and volunteer opportunities to the South Cariboo. It would bolster local economic business and services in the community. Currently, families travel outside of the South Cariboo for aquatic recreation, and often combine those trips with shopping, services and dining out, which they might otherwise do in 100 Mile House. Recreation facilities have shown to increase property values and tax revenue in communities.
Recreation opportunities make communities more attractive places in which to live, learn, work, play, and visit, which encourages growth within a community.