A special delegation of off-leash-dog-park advocates received some good news from Trail city council May 25 at their Governance and Operations Committee (GOC) meeting.
Trail resident Glen Byle started a petition in March urging residents to support an off-leash dog park in Greater Trail.
In total, 614 residents signed the petition and Byle, along with Tess Fillmore, brought the signatures and a power-point presentation to Tuesday’s GOC meeting with welcome results.
Council started the process for the proposed park, by accepting the motion to hire a consultant to select the best locations and submit designs and costs for public consultation.
“I’m quite excited,” said Byle. “We spoke and engaged council with some background on what it was like gathering the supporters, how much feedback there was from the community, and answered questions from council about the potential dog park.”
However, council did have concerns regarding location, maintenance and ensuring residents clean up after their canine companions.
“One of the big ones is dog poop, which is always a concern,” said Byle. “And picking the right location. Anywhere you go there are going to be people who are happy or unhappy about a certain location.”
Byle was impressed with the number of residents who stepped up and offered to sign and circulate the petition. He didn’t want to see the potential park go the way of an unsuccessful 2012 request for an off-leash park at the ‘Y’ in Sunningdale.
“I was so grateful to have so much support,” said Byle. “To have people volunteer to help gather signatures and supporters. That really made it fun. I had people offer to volunteer without me even asking.”
Grounds and Roads Superintendent, David Moorehead, provided council with a comprehensive feasibility study for the project outlining the pros and cons of off-leash dog parks, considered amenities, locations, and estimated costs.
Recommended areas include Gyro Park, Centennial Park, McBride Street Park, and Bear Creek Park. The report describes the size of the various locations, their respective advantages and disadvantages, and estimated costs.
Byle and Fillmore as well as Moorehead’s report favoured the Gyro Park area due to the central location and amenities already available that would keep costs lower.
The dog-park advocates also plan to hold fundraisers to contribute towards the costs of the facility and its amenities.
Council accepted the report and Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff’s recommendations.
“The report provides an excellent starting point with respect to the selection and development of an off-leash dog park,” commented Perehudoff. “[It] provides an objective analysis of the various areas in the community that may be suitable for the proposed use.
“Many communities do provide off-leash dog parks and as noted … the petition received by council suggests there is strong community support to proceed. Should a location, design and budget be developed in 2021, the park could be advanced in the 2022 capital budget as a high priority for funding.”