At the October 15th South Dundas council meeting, the beginning of a big idea took root, an idea which has the potential to benefit the South Dundas community and this region for many generations.
Council was discussing a potential application by South Dundas to fund an infrastructure program replacing the aging steps of the Morrisburg Arena. This isn’t a bad idea: however the project was deemed ill-suited for a legacy-type of funding program. Other municipalities like Prescott are looking to build a new arena: South Dundas wanted steps.
Council decided to look at going bigger, much bigger, to create something long needed in the community: a multi-use recreation facility.
In the winter months, outside of hockey and curling, recreation programming in South Dundas is limited to what can fit in community gymnasiums or small recreation spaces in Iroquois, Dixon’s Corners, or Dundela.
What is needed is a large, open recreation facility where many of the summer recreation groups like baseball, soccer, tennis and pickleball (to name a few) can continue their activities through the winter months.
The need is great. Similar sized communities like Russell and Alexandria already have sports domes and they are a hive of winter activity, keeping the community active. More importantly, these facilities keep dollars in their communities. Instead of driving to Cornwall, Russell, Alexandria or Ottawa, imagine our youth playing indoor soccer or conditioning for the upcoming baseball or track and field seasons right here in South Dundas? Those playing tennis or pickleball (which has an ever-growing following in South Dundas) could play all year round, rather than just in good summer weather.
A facility like this, with an indoor walking track, would provide a safe place for those who wish to exercise 12 months of the year, not just in good weather, or when the sidewalks have been plowed.
Even better, community events like movie nights, birthday parties, and even mini-putt could take over the facility, and give South Dundas residents more options for recreation and entertainment in their community. That means more money staying in the community: after all people tend to shop where they take their family for recreation.
Call it a sports dome or a field house. Regardless of the name, this type of facility is long-needed in South Dundas. It is the kind of forward-thinking initiative that will promote growth in our community.