Mill Woods Cultural and Recreational Facility Association (MCARFA) is a not for profit organization established in 1977 to build and operate major recreational or cultural facilities within the Mill Woods area. All Mill Woods community league members are members of MCARFA.
To meet the expanding need of ice for minor hockey, ringette, figure skating, and recreational skating, a group of visionary citizens from four community leagues (North Millbourne, Leefield, Knottwood and Lakewood) embarked on a project to raise funds and construct a modest arena with two ice rinks.
From the humble beginnings of an arena, the City of Edmonton added a wave pool and other facilities. The arenas were opened in 1981 and the completed Mill Woods Recreation Center was officially opened in 1983.
Mill Woods continued to grow rapidly and soon encompassed nine community leagues and the Meadows. Demand for additional facilities increased accordingly and new partnerships were formed with Mill Woods Presidents' Council and service clubs such as the Edmonton Mill Woods Lions Club to address these demands.
MCARFA raises funds through events such as casinos and bingos which are then matched by grants available through the city, the province or the federal government.
The commitment of thousands of hours by community volunteers to the development, fundraising and operational activities have been integral to the success of MCARFA initiatives and have resulted in almost $20 million worth of recreational facilities being developed in South-east Edmonton.