Having another city landmark – the Trail Riverfront Centre – being recognized for excellence by the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) was welcome news last Thursday.
But another outcome from the association’s annual symposium, held in Whistler last week, is just as newsworthy.
Trisha Davison, head of Trail Parks and Recreation, was elected President of the BCRPA for a two-year term, and will represent 2,600 members hailing from almost every municipality across the province.
It’s a big job, but one she’s ready for after sitting on the board for five years and serving as “president elect” since 2017.
“Being involved in the association to this level, is one way I can give back to my profession and my colleagues,” she told the Trail Times. “It truly is an honour to serve alongside many amazing individuals in this sector throughout the province. I often feel I receive more than I give,” she said.
“Many of the people I have met and worked with, have provided me with direct learning, information, and wisdom that I get to share with my community here in Trail.”
It will be a busy few years involving some specific focal points, Davison explained.
“Several key strategic priorities will continue to be worked on from the existing strategic plan (such as) member engagement, regional liaison networking, and advocacy around the recreation infrastructure deficit,” she said.
“Efforts have been made to strengthen the relationship with other organizations, namely the Recreation Facilities Association of BC, and those efforts will continue. In the first meeting of the new board we will be establishing, or re-confirming, the priorities of the association.”
The BCRPA is a nonprofit, whose purpose is “to lead the enrichment of individuals and their communities through the power of recreation and parks.” As a member-focused professional organization, the association provides professional development opportunities, grant funding, advocacy to higher levels of government, and resources around the best practices of providing recreation and parks services in communities.
A recent example of a BCRPA action is the free fitness programs for seniors at the Trail Aquatic Centre. The association provided funding for “Choose to Move” workshops and weekly fitness classes called “Active Age.” Both wellness programs have been a popular draw for seniors living from Rossland to the Beaver Valley.
“It really is a great group of people,” Davison shared. “My goal is to do both my community and my colleagues proud over these next two years. It is a wonderful volunteer opportunity to be a part of.”
On the local front, the operation and maintenance of various recreational and cultural facilities owned by the city, including the Trail Riverfront Centre, fall under the auspices of the parks and recreation department. As department head, Davison ensures that all park and facilities are appropriately maintained, within budget, by staff and contractors.
“As most board members hold director positions like mine, they are very used to being on the staff side of the equation versus on the governance side,” Davison said. “Keeping those roles separate can be difficult and I believe the board would find value in doing further development in this area. So one initial area I would like to focus on, will be around creating effective orientation practices for new board members to ensure roles and responsibilities are clear.”