Denman Island Covered Recreation Space
Denman Island Covered Recreation Space creates a public space for recreational sports, music event and workshops, winter farmers markets and free play that meet public health guidance on increasing airflow and ventilation. The project improves a public space and enables community organizations to continue to deliver programs and services to the community, lessening the impact of COVID-19 on physical, social and emotional health.
The Covered Recreation Space seeks to serve a broad section of the Denman Island community. The goal of the project is to create a safe and vibrant space for the following populations and activities;
- Families and Children access the structure for free-play, and organized activities such as parent group, after-school programs and pre-school.
- Youth access the space for spontaneous play and infrastructure for basketball has been identified as a priority by them. Many of the recreational sports played on the island have intergenerational groups with an age span of 10-70.
- Seniors Denman has a large population of retirees that are engaged in sport activities and cultural events.
- Local businesses sell their goods through the Farmers Market during the summer will expand their season with a Winter Market. The market increases access to fresh local food for the general population.
- The Denman Island Community at Large will be able to access the space for recreational and cultural activities.
In March of 2020 all spaces used for recreational sports, music events and workshops on Denman Island were closed to the public due to insufficient ventilation and other issues. To be able to continue to offer programs and services to the community in a safe way during the COVID-19 pandemic, DICES recognized the need for a structure that would allow for ample airflow and ventilation.
DICES reached out to other community stakeholder groups and found that they shared the need for a space that had adequate ventilation and still provided shelter from rain and sun. The lack of such a structure was limiting activities that support resident’s physical and mental health throughout the pandemic.
Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Islands Trust have identified “Expand public spaces, including covered areas” as a recommended action item for the Denman downtown (Denman Community Design Charrette, January 2018, p 23). The initiative for the Covered Recreation Space was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic but the project will continue to serve the community for decades to come.
The project has evolved in to beautiful community collaboration and we would like to thank all our partners in this project!
Denman Island Recreation Commission Society (DIRCS) have agreed to lease the space for the Covered Recreation Space to DICES and have contributed their community knowledge to the design process.
The Sports Field Committee, DIRCS, Art’s Denman, The Farmers Market, and the Pickleball Group plus some experienced builders make up the Covered Recreation Space Steering Committee. The Committee is driving the design process and make recommendations to DIRCS and DICES on decisions regarding design and implementation.
Denman Seniors & Museum Society, Blackberry Lane Preschool, Hornby Denman Community Health Care Society’s Youth Outreach Workers, the basketball, soccer, tai chi, qi gong and dance groups that have all provided valuable feedback on how to make the Covered Recreation Space work for them.
Several organizations have contributed financially to the Covered Recreation Space. A warm thank you goes out to DenmanWORKS!, Denman Health Centre Society, the Sports Field Committee, and DIRCS.