On March 22, 2012, I facilitated an Active Transportation Planning Workshop in the community of Yorkton SK. What made this particular workshop unique was that it was the first community where I was conducting a follow-up session. In September 2006, I had been in Yorkton for the first time, and over a two-day workshop helped the community while it crafted a vision for Active Transportation and developed an action plan for the immediate future.
The new group that formed, the Yorkton Active Transportation Collaborative (YATC) moved forward with that plan, and over the last five years managed to complete every one of its objectives, including the construction of 11-km of new off-road pathway - a significant amount for a community of little more than 15,000. In fact, Yorkton has been so successful that they have been nationally-recognized by the Public Health Agency of Canada for their efforts.
But it had been more than five years since the first workshop, and YATC decided that they were ready to look forward and establish new goals for the next several years. To my pleasure, they invited me back to facilitate this next community planning session, a day designed to access their success to date, establish what were perceived as the pieces still missing in Active Transportation in Yorkton, and to choose the goals that would direct their efforts for the next several years.
March 22 was another full day. Representatives from the community's schools, the RCMP, the business community, municipal staff, the planning commission, service clubs, public health, and many others worked together to develop the community's goals moving forward. Ultimately, these were narrowed down to nine priority actions for Active Transportation in Yorkton.
Based on their successes since 2006, Yorkton will probably continue to be a leader in Active Transportation for small and medium-sized communities in Canada.