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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Public Meeting June 2 2010 (1)

'Recreation and Leisure in Our Community: what could make life better in Drysdale & Clifton Springs?'

This is the topic of DCSCA's next Public Meeting, on Wednesday June 2 at 7.00 p.m. at SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre, High Street, Drysdale; and this posting is a warm invitation to you to attend.

Is balancing leisure and life becoming a bit of a stretch?
We need to take time out from our busy lives and we know that staying active helps to keep us healthy. However, it's becoming harder to find open spaces for recreation, because urbanisation is replacing them. And while new housing developments often include parkland, this is often taken up with exercise equipment and barbecues. Adults and children certainly need more-or-less formal recreational facilities, such as sports fields, recreation/leisure centres and playgrounds; but we also need simple, open space in which to just ‘be’, rather than do anything active and specific. There is growing evidence that people’s well-being (especially children’s) is suffering because so much of the natural world is being ‘developed’ as urban spaces – including formal recreational facilities. Indeed, researchers have identified a condition known as ‘Nature Deficit Syndrome’ associated with lack of access to natural (non-urban) environments.

At the same time, recreation and leisure is now a major industry and it's becoming harder to find forms of recreation and leisure that don't involve spending money. If you have money to spare, this isn't a problem. But the less money you have, the harder it can be to have good times.

Our speakers
The meeting will feature some very different perspectives on recreation and leisure. We'll hear from Bill Williams and David Cornwell from the Clifton Springs Men's Shed; from Rob Evans and members of Youth Foundations Victoria; and we hope to have a speaker from Parks Victoria - we're just waiting for them to confirm.

The meeting will follow our usual format - three speakers, each given 10 minutes or so, then an open discussion, with a 'snap poll' on white boards for people to fill-in as they leave. DCSCA's public meetings this year have been lively, interesting events: about 100 people came to our first meeting (about shopping) and about 50 people to our last meeting (about transport). For each one, we've invited speakers who will introduce local people to perspectives on the topic that they may not have encountered before; and we hope that our meeting on June 2 will achieve the same success.

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