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Establishing Healthy Food Environments in the Recreation Sector


The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) is collaborating with Health Canada, to help support healthy food environments in the recreation sector.

And we want to work with you!


1. Tell us what you think!

Review and provide feedback on resources developed to support healthy eating in the recreation sector. We want your opinion on their applicability to the sector. The resources provide specific actions you can take to make your recreation setting more food guide friendly.

Getting involved is simple:

i) Contact Christa Costas-Bradstreet at to indicate your interest in participating (or for more information)

ii) Review one or more of the documents. Perhaps even pilot test a few of the ideas.

iii) Provide your feedback by completing a short survey. The survey will be available until February 23, 2024.

If interested, our engagement will run until February 23, 2024.

2. Share your stories!

If you are currently addressing healthy eating at your facility or during your programs, let us know!

CPRA will establish a database of ideas and stories as to how to initiate and support healthy eating practices. We will also write up three of the examples, or case studies, that outline the journey to providing healthier food choices (what has worked, what hasn’t and the motivation to keep planning). These case studies will be shared with the sector to celebrate success and help encourage further action.

To share your stories, click here. We just need 10 minutes of your time to learn more about what you’re doing!

3. Join our 2024 Online Learning Sessions!

Find out more about what it means to provide a healthy eating environment, the role of the recreation sector and the resources available to support your work.

Speaker: Dr. Rachel Prowse, Memorial University

Rachel Prowse, PhD, RD, is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her research program focuses on understanding factors that influence diets of Canadians, including food marketing, food environments, and food policies. Since 2015, Dr. Prowse has completed nation-wide projects exploring food environments in recreation and sport centres in Canada and strategies to support healthy eating in these settings.

View Rachels Presentation (Slides)

View Rachels Presentation (Recording)

Case Studies and Ask the Experts – Part I

Learn about how three communities are building healthy eating environments in the recreation sector, hear others stories, and listen to advice that could help you on your own journey.


Tim Hanna and Stacey Wiens, Eat Healthy, Play Healthy Saskatchewan

Stacey Wiens grew up figure skating, spending most of her winter evenings in the local rink, before attaining her Commerce Degree and starting her first career in marketing with a national food distributor.  She later pursued her Nutrition Degree and has worked for 12 years as a Registered Dietitian in a population health role covering a wide variety of health promotion and disease prevention topics including healthy food environments. 

Tim Hanna worked for over 30+ years in the municipal recreation industry.  Part of his responsibilities included the operation and management of food services within publicly funded recreation facilities.  This past experience provides a unique perspective on the implementation of healthy food and beverages in recreation facilities.  Tim now works for Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association as the Facilities and Training Consultant, and has been involved with Eat Healthy, Play Healthy for over five years.

Lynn Julien and Cristina Benea, City of Temiskaming Shores

Lynn has been an age Friendly and Healthy Kids Coordinator since October 2017. Lynn works with children ages 0 to 12 yrs and older adults. Lynn creates and runs community programs to keep kids and older adults physically and socially active. Lynn has a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education from Nipissing University in North Bay.

Cristina works at the Timiskaming Health Unit as a Pubic Health Dietitian. Cristina currently supports the Chronic disease prevention, the healthy growth and development and the school teams. Cristina received her master’s in public health from University of Toronto.

Angela MacMillan, RD, MPH

Angela is a Public Health Dietitian at KFL&A Public Health in Kingston, Ontario. Her current work focuses on improving the food environment and food literacy in recreation and community settings and collaborating with Health Canada to pilot Food Guide Friendly initiatives.

View the Presentation (slides)

View the Presentation (recording)

Case Studies and Ask the Experts – Part II

Wednesday, March 6, 12:00-1:30 pm. ET.

We want to continue the discussion and provide more opportunities to profile healthy eating initiatives underway in Canada’s recreation sector. Barriers and facilitators to implementing healthy eating initiatives will be discussed. Bring questions about your own initiatives.


Karly Brush, Manager – Sport Services, Recreation

Courtney Bryl, Manager – Senior Services, Recreation

Suzanne Neumann, RD, Public Heath Nutritionist, Public Health Services

Since 2017, staff within the City of Hamilton Recreation and Public Health Services have been working together to enact a healthy food and beverage action plan in City recreation facilities.  The action plan was guided by the principles of 1) Access to healthy food and beverages; 2) Free and convenient access to tap water; 3)Environmentally-sustainable drinking water; 4) Financially-sustainable food services; 5) Availability of nutrition information for customers; 6) Socially-responsible marketing. This presentation will discuss actions taken, enablers, how challenges were handled, and reflections that may help others take action in this area.

Rae Gunn (she/her)

Working and volunteering in the public & non-profit sector for almost (gulp) 25 yrs, Rae is a big believer that recreation is the key ingredient to creating welcoming & healthy communities. She admits that professional and personal worlds often overlapped as she and her husband raised their 4 energetic daughters in rural Nova Scotia. Rae currently works with the Province of NS and is a Regional Manager with their Communities, Sport and Recreation Division.

Marissa Park, Registered Dietitian and Coordinator

Marissa Park is a Registered Dietitian and Coordinator for a provincial program called Eat Great and Participate with Recreation NL. Marissa is from the west coast of Newfoundland and Labrador and passionate about the values of recreation in supporting overall health and wellbeing. Marissa’s focuses on supporting the access of nutritious foods and beverages in recreation, sport, and community settings.


For more information, contact Christa Costas-Bradstreet, Director, Partnerships at