Russell Sports Dome’s Walking Track Free For All

By Gabrielle Vinette
Russell Sports Dome’s Walking Track Free For All
As of April 9, 2024, the Township of Russell is waiving membership and access fees for the walking track portion of the Russell Sports Dome. The costs will be covered by the UCPR’s Regional Community Investment Fund. (Photo : Gabrielle Vinette, EAP)

Access to Russell’s walking and running track at the sports dome is now free thanks to the United Counties of Prescott and Russell’s community investment fund. 

Mayor Pierre Leroux, in one of his final public appearances as mayor before stepping down for a job with The Nation’s administration, announced the initiative on April 9. Reimbursements for members paid in 2024 will be given at a future date. 

Thanks to the Regional Community Investment Fund, a United Counties of Precott and Russell (UCPR) program that sets aside $50,000 for each muncipality to access for cultural and recreational purposes each year, Russell introduced the removal of membership with the goal of “enhancing community health” and “ensuring equitable access to key recreational facilities.”  

Geneviève Lajoie, Mayor of Casselman was present for the presentation. She admitted that the idea came from Leroux himself. 

“I think it’s a brilliant idea,” she said. “I wouldn’t even thought of this. I always thought ‘what is Pierre going to do?’ I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do, and he did this and I’m like ‘of course it’s mega!’” 

The Community Investment Fund also aims to remove economic barriers to encourage a healthy lifestyle among residents. 

“After the pandemic, everybody was in a rut, so I wanted to give access to funds for the mayors because all the mayors know they communities best,” said Leroux.  

He went on the ask himself how they can inspire residents and how can they elevate them from a community standpoint. 

“And that’s sort of where this idea came from.” 

For the remaining nine months of 2024, the Community Investment Fund will fund $30,000. A future request of $40,000 for the next two years will be made to ensure the memberships remain free for that time. 

For residents owning a membership, payments are stopped as of April 9 and a credit will be issued if applicable. Information will be sent directly to residents by email, or they can call the Dome for more information at 613-443-9272. 

New visitors are asked to stop at the reception desk to learn about the rules and policies of the Dome. 

The Sports Dome’s hours of operation are listed on the Russell’s website. 

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