Residents of a small Pictou County community are striving to pump more vitality into the area.
Scotsburn Recreation Club members emphasized the need to establish financial stability and to get more people helping with events, upkeep and various tasks, during a meeting Wednesday evening at the J.P. Gammon community centre. More involvement is crucial to offering programs and events and in maintaining the group’s assets: the hall and the outdoor recreational area, which includes a ballfield and tennis courts.
The financial ebb and flow runs parallel with times of having, at times, fewer young children in the community or lots of them, said Jennifer MacLennan, one of the meeting’s facilitators along with Susan MacConnell, Alena Martin and Nancy MacConnell-Maxner. The number of youth involved ties directly into the amount of available funding through various programs and, correspondingly, whether they can afford summer staff.
The meeting, attended by about 40 people, started with the invitation to stand if you had ever used features or attended various events in Scotsburn, such as the network of trails, concerts at the school, going to the annual pork chop barbecue or skating on one of the ponds. Each one brought a varying number of people to their feet.
“Please stand up if you care about our community,” said MacConnell, as a wrap to the exercise.
When those attending were asked what they like about the community, responses focused on the people, the mutual support and abundance of outdoor spaces and recreational opportunities – such as the Trans-Canada Trail, Fitzpatrick Mountain and the Cape to Cape Trail.
But a growing concern of the club is that a small number of members are doing the bulk of the work. People attending were invited to list their names with any of the events or regular maintenance duties they felt they could help with.
Financial contributions are another need. Martin said the cost to keep the community centre running, including heat, utilities and miscellaneous expenses is close to $800 a month.
Publicity about events is another issue – they’re sometimes not well attended – as is letting visitors using the trails know about the other features in Scotsburn, such as the newly opened A Walk Through Time museum, Deb’s Café and Smith Rock Chalets.
Among revenue-generating ideas suggested were selling 50/50 tickets in conjunction with events – an idea from Pictou Lions Club members who attended the meeting – musical evenings next to the fire hall pond, movie nights, hall rentals, teen night and trivia night. Also suggested was occasional welcoming events to help acquaint those new to the area with established residents.
Anyone interested in contributing to Scotsburn Recreation in any way or joining the club or attending meeting can get information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org