CONNE RIVER, N.L. —
Getting outdoors has always been an important part of life in this province.
Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, getting outdoors has become an important way for people to break up their days.
The Miawpukek First Nation is looking for input from residents about what the community might need when it comes to recreation.
In a post on the band’s Facebook page on March 9, Miawpukek’s tourism, culture and recreation division put out a call for ideas to spruce up its outdoor spaces.
The Conne River-based band hopes to round out its recreational goals through the suggestions received from residents.
Some of the funding the band is applying for is contingent on having a public consultation session where officials gather ideas in-person.
In light of the pandemic, the idea was to use social media as an interactive online consultation tool.
“One of the things we’re looking to add to programs is the beautification of the community,” said Colleen Lambert, Miawpukek tourism, recreation and culture manager.
Those suggestions could be anything from an outdoor yoga area to a covered sitting area, and they don’t have to be new items.
Miawpukek is also encouraging ideas that focus on improving current amenities.
Ideally, these outdoor facilities would not require a great deal of funding to develop, officials say.
Since the post went up last week, it has garnered some attention online. Some suggestions collected so far are the construction of a new boardwalk and the development of all-terrain vehicle and snowmobile trails.
The ideas generated would then go on a work plan for the band’s recreation goals, and would be referred to when applying for funding.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the responses so far,” said Lambert.
While the idea is to use this to generate new ways to sprinkle additional recreational resources around the community, they will also add to the rest of the package presented by Miawpukek.
They’re renovating their community centre and they added solar-powered lights to walking trails this winter.
The band also made sure to clear and salt its walking track this winter because they recognized how important getting outside is to combatting isolation during the pandemic.
All of that is part of a bigger goal for Miawpukek.
“We’re working towards having a healthier community,” said Miawpukek Chief Mi’sel Joe.