Green Shack Success
The Green Shack program, a free neighborhood based recreation program that provides fun, active opportunities to children during July and August, will continue indefinitely with high quality recreation opportunities across the city.
Green Shack Program changes
A recent review of community recreation focused on aligning the livable city with the development of a sustainable funding model for the highly valued Green Shack program.
In 2013, the Green Shack program underwent changes when provincial employment grant funding was eliminated. The next year (2014), City Council directed the addition of $275,000 to support the delivery of the free Green Shack program, recognizing its importance for low income Edmontonians.
As well in 2014, the program increased the number of half day programs (173), and maintained limited capacity to offer 9 full day programs.
Two innovative programs were piloted during 2014 to reach out to even more children in Edmonton.
The Pop Up Play program was offered in 34 neighborhoods where a traditional Green Shack program was not offered – typically this program was offered in the new neighborhoods of Edmonton where there are a lot of children, but where a playground may not yet exist.
The Summer Recreation Connector program provided outreach to five newcomer and multicultural areas, to familiarize parents and children with the Green Shack program and to support them participating in their local Green Shack program.
The response to the changes in the Green Shack program and addition of the Pop Up Play and Summer Recreation Connector programs were very positive with all programs very well attended.
Community Services is currently evaluating the 2014 Connector programs with a number of internal and external stakeholders and a decision regarding summer’s 2015 model will be made by the end of the year and announced early in 2015.