The Villages Daily Sun

Talking With Talking With: John Rohan, District Recreation Director

John Rohan, District Recreation Director, shares his insights about the innovative program his department has created for shared use of recreation facilities.

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Posted: Monday, June 12, 2017 6:00 am

District Recreation Director John Rohan is pretty proud of a program innovation his department introduced thanks to resident input and discussion.

It’s called shared use.

Through the use of strategic scheduling, his staff manages the multiple use of various recreation programs at the same facility at different times. Residents will get a first-hand look this week at the latest innovation in shared use facilities following the 9:30 a.m. Friday grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at Blue Heron Recreation Area.

It’s one of two festivities Recreation is planning. At 10 a.m., the District staff will celebrate the grand opening of the Fenney Recreation Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Rohan offered the following insight into shared use.

So what is shared use?

Shared use is the ability, where it is conducive, to allow a facility to offer one or more activities, usually scheduled, to allow additional programming opportunities of lifestyle activities.

What’s the latest example of a Recreation shared use amenity?

It’s the shared use of the bocce and petanque facilities at Blue Heron Recreation Area in the Village of Fenney.

What are some other examples of shared use?

Other examples of shared use include lawn bowling and croquet greens; sand volleyball and beach tennis courts; softball and kickball; open green space; sports pools; fitness equipment and walking paths; remote control sailings and kayaking and fishing.

How have you implemented shared use?

It has actually been around for a while. Like everything we try to do in this community, it is to continue to enhance and improve recreation for residents’ daily use and enjoyment. In fact, our recreation centers by their nature and design offer many shared use programming areas. We continue to recognize the value and importance going forward.

What have you learned from shared use?

We have learned and seen that it allows for increased participation, scheduling and benefits to the residents for maximizing a location site for more than one activity

where applicable.

Is this a trend that will continue?

As we continue to grow, and based on resident input and design of areas, the trend is to look at locations as multidimensional areas. Once again, it’s to be complementary to each other.

What are some of the benefits of shared use?

We believe it creates a lot of social connectivity and synergy. It allows scheduling management, more events; and, our residents may be enjoying one activity and realize they can also learn and grow in another one that is available right there. So, it allows our residents to expand their recreation horizons.

What are the cost implications?

Actually, it allows more efficiencies using the infrastructure, such as parking, equipment storage and restrooms at these areas. Once again, it’s all about generating a recreation hub of active and passive activities.