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The Edmonton community leagues : a study in community organization for recreation Farina, Alfred John Oswald

Abstract

This study traces the development of community recreation in Edmonton from the time of the initiation of the community leagues to the present, and concludes with an evaluation of their present and possible future status. It is particularly pertinent because of the long history of community recreation in Edmonton and because the Edmonton Recreation Commission is probably the strongest public recreation agency in western Canada. The growth of the community league movement and of the Federation of Community Leagues are traced. The establishment of the Edmonton Recreation Commission, the resulting conflict with the Federation, and emerging relationship are discussed. Prom the study of Edmonton and its agencies serving the recreation needs of the people, the next logical step in organization for recreation in the city is indicated. The suggestions made for the future are based on accepted principles of professional community organization but the application of these principles is predicated on a clear interpretation of past and existing relationships between community agencies. One principle peculiarly applicable in Edmonton is that whenever possible the public recreation programme should be operated through only one organization in each community. Because of the varied nature of recreation an organization with a broad objective is best suited to this function but at the same time the functions of other agencies must be clearly defined to avoid duplication of effort. The suggested community reorganization for recreation in Edmonton is an example of co-ordinating recreation agencies within a city and redefining their areas of concern. The problem is not peculiar to Edmonton, and the suggested reorganization is not necessarily applicable elsewhere. There are, however, methods and principles indicated that should be generally applicable to similar situations. Primary source material has been used wherever possible including newspaper articles, minutes of community league meetings, the constitution of the- Federation of Community Leagues, personal interviews and personal experiences. In addition reference has been made to leading professional authorities in the field of community organization for recreation, and to pamphlets and booklets issued by national and international agencies in the field.

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