School board and city partner to expand recreation services and outdoor learning

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A new partnership between the city and a school board will provide more outdoor learning programs and public recreation.

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During the year-long pilot program, the Greater Essex County District School Board will let the City of Windsor operate programs at the gymnasiums and libraries at William G. Davis and Talbot Trail Public Schools. In exchange, the school board will have access to city parks during regular school hours for student activities.

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“In the City of Windsor, we believe in active, responsible and inclusive recreation offerings,” said Nada Tremblay, Manager of Community Programming and Development for the city.

“Our mission is to create experiences that encourage Windsor residents to be physically and socially active while contributing to the high quality of life people want to live, work and play here in our community. A big part of that is working closely with community partners, like our school board friends, to deliver recreation services effectively and efficiently for everyone.

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The city will initially offer programming from 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday with four programs per day at each school. Two sports-focused programs will take place at each gymnasium school, and two additional art-focused programs will take place at each library.

Nada Tremblay, Manager of Community Programming and Development for the City of Windsor, talks about a new partnership between the city and the Greater Essex County District School Board on Friday, October 7, 2022. Photo by Taylor Campbell /Windsor Star

The city parks the school board will use are Lanspeary Park, AKO Park, Realtor Park, Riverside Miracle Park, Ford Test Track Park, Forest Glade Optimist Park, Wigle Park, and Bush Park.

  1. Greater Essex County District School Board officials Guiliana Hinchliffe, Brad Gyori and Superintendent of Education Todd Awender joined Education Minister Stephen Lecce, Windsor-Tecumseh MP Andrew Dowie and council Greater Essex Gail Simko-Hatfield County District School on the site of the new Eastview Horizon Public School, scheduled to open in January 2023.

    Lecce visits school sites in Windsor and Essex County

  2. A closed Lanspeary Park swimming pool is seen on Thursday June 30, 2022.

    City launches second public inquiry into Lanspeary Park redevelopment

The partners have entered into a joint use agreement to maximize facility utilization, reduce operating costs, share responsibilities and resources, and minimize duplicate gymnasium construction. The cost of the partnership is neutral.

Shelley Armstrong, the school board’s superintendent of affairs, said the board doesn’t get a lot of funding for green space and outdoor landscaping.

“It gives schools the opportunity to use local neighborhood parks, use baseball diamonds, walking tracks, conduct outdoor science experiments – things of that nature that we wouldn’t always be able to do otherwise, depending on the facilities we have,” Armstrong said.

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Shelley Armstrong, Superintendent of Business for the Greater Essex County District School Board, speaks about a new partnership between the city and the school board on Friday, October 7, 2022.
Shelley Armstrong, Superintendent of Business for the Greater Essex County District School Board, speaks about a new partnership between the city and the school board on Friday, October 7, 2022. Photo by Taylor Campbell /Windsor Star

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