What is this Service?
Parks Services supports the recreational and leisure needs of the community. Parkland, both maintained and natural, enhances quality of life, economic, cultural, the environmental well-being of the community; and is a key component in sustainability plans.
Specific objectives include:
- Clean, safe, welcoming parks and natural spaces for all residents to enjoy
- Opportunities for physical activity including both recreational and competitive sports
- Demographics and Community Use: Community/Resident demand for parks usage has increased in recent years particularly for large, social gatherings and various cultural activities (i.e. specialty fields, cultural gardens, community gardens, dogs-off-leash areas, special events etc.). While these activities increase park usage, they also translate into higher maintenance and signage costs, as well as increased staff training requirements. Operating costs related to these contemporary activities varies across municipalities and are not captured separately.
- Geography: Varying topography affects the number of hectares, e.g. size of escarpment, number of lakes, transportation networks.
- Maintenance Levels: Level of management applied to natural areas in parks, e.g. ecological restoration projects, community naturalization projects.
- Mix of Maintained and Natural Parkland: Maintained parks can include a number of amenities and usually involve turf maintenance programs, all of which typically are more costly on a per hectare basis than the cost of maintaining forests or other natural areas.
- Service Standards: Differences between municipalities in the amenities available (greenhouses, washrooms, playgrounds), as well as the standards to which those parks are maintained, such as the frequency of grass cutting. There can also be differences in the costs of maintaining certain sports fields i.e. Class A, B, C and D class fields. (soccer, football, baseball).
- Weather Conditions: Weather conditions and length of growing seasons affect all municipalities differently, however as we continue to experience more frequent and intense weather changes, operating costs are impacted.