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    Little Mountain Park Conservancy       Group Inc.

For The Love of Our Park
 
 
 

 

 


 
 
 
 
WINDOG

WINDOG News
Meeting
 
Why hello super-group people!

This is a reminder about our initial Dog Club Supergroup meeting on Tuesday night at the Henderson Library at 1050 Henderson Highway (Rossmere Plaza).

Please arrive around 6:45 PM so we can get the meeting to a rolling boil at 7PM.

I have attached an agenda and a draft document for the framework for an association.

I'll be bringing cookies and water.

See you Tuesday

Frank Machovec
Maple Grove Park Dog Owners' Association

 

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 Published: 24 July 2018
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Fire Works
 
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/fireworks-display-not-ok-with-kilcona-dog-park-users-1.3090658

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Thursday, 08 May 2014 02:24
WINDOG
windog.ca
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 Published: 10 October 2014
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Kilcona Park
 
Committee endorses $25-million upgrade for Kilcona Park
By: Aldo Santin

Posted: 12:28 PM | Comments: 15 | Last Modified: 4:52 PM | Updates
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CITY OF WINNIPEG COMMITTEE PRESENTATION

An artist's impression of the refurbished off-leash dog park at the redeveloped Kilcona Park.
A $25-million redevelopment is being proposed for the Kilcona Park/Harbour View recreation complex.

Plans released this morning call for a dramatic overhaul that includes rebuilding many of the structures at Harbour View, including the wooden tower; fencing and relocating areas of the off-leash dog park; construction of a three-kilometre roadway linking both sides of the area; and a 10-kilometre internal network of active-transportation pathways.

Enlarge Image

Illustration of new dock area at Harbour View. (CITY OF WINNIPEG COMMITTEE PRESENTATION)
KILCONA PARK REDEVELOPMENT
$25 Million

PRIORITY PROJECTS
$4.6 million — safety and accessibility upgrades.

$4.7 million — Harbour View renewal

OTHER PROPOSED DEVELOPMENTS
$820,000 — new community picnic and recreational sites.

$1 million — new outdoor sport fields.

$800,000 — 10 kilometre network of trails.

$50,000 — park beautification.

$150,000 — washroom upgrades.

$1.34 million — dog park development, including fencing of 48-hectare site.

$630,000 — lake edge development.

$2 million — conversion of old maintenance yards into sports complex.

$600,000 — snow park development.

$1.4 million — west park enhancements.

$560,000 — EK-Transcona active transportation links.

$270,000 — wetland boardwalk and shelter

$250,000 — Norris Road paving.

$4 million — pedestrian overpass at Lagimodiere into All Seasons Estate subdivision.

$300,000 — AT connection to Cordite Trail/Plessis Road.
Enlarge Image

Map of relocated off-leash dog park and trails and roadway. (CITY OF WINNIPEG COMMITTEE PRESENTATION)
Enlarge Image

Illustration of proposed overpass. (CITY OF WINNIPEG COMMITTEE PRESENTATION)
"It’s our fair share, it’s our time," North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty said of the proposal.

The Kilcona/Harbour View complex is a 178-hectare recreational site on the northeast corner of Lagimodiere Boulevard and Springfield Road. It began as a landfill and storm water retention complex in the 1970s. The landfill has since been closed and sodded and used as the city’s largest off-leash dog park.

The Harbour View component, at the eastern edge of the site, includes a nine-hole golf course, pro shop, driving range, mini-putt, tennis courts, lawn bowling, toboggan hill, indoor concession and lounge area.

The Kilcona Park portion is visible along Lagimodiere, where it includes the 48-hectare off-leash dog park, toboggan hill, and sport fields.

Maureen Krauss, a planner with local firm HTFC, said the park facilities and structures are old and in poor condition. The park’s location — in the far northeastern corner of the city — has kept it off the radar for many residents and made it difficult to access.

Krauss recommended that as part of the redevelopment, the entire site get a rebranding: losing the Harbourview name and formally calling it Kilcona Park.

Browaty said city hall has upgraded parks in other areas of Winnipeg and it is time funds and effort are allocated to the northeast quadrant of the city.

The planning report, presented at a special meeting of the East Kildonan-Transcona community committee, envisions the redevelopment to be phased in over a six-year period, with the first projects being the fencing of the dog park and rebuilding of the dock areas at Harbourview, which is estimated to cost $9.3 million.

Other park upgrades include: new community picnic and recreation sites; washroom upgrades; refurbishment and re-purposing of old maintenance yards into a sports complex; and paving Norris Road.

In addition to improving the park facilities, Krauss recommends making it easier for residents to access the site. She proposes a pedestrian overpass across Lagimodiere into the All Seasons Estate neighbourhood ($4 million) and trails linking to the newly-built Chief Peguis trail and the Cordite trail that goes into north Transcona ($860,000).

Krauss said there is potential for private sector partnerships, with possible commercial development along Lagimodiere Boulevard and commercial operations in selected areas of the redeveloped park, which could offset some of the development costs.

The first phase of the complex was opened in 1982: the Harbourview golf course and recreation complex. The three scenic bridges, visible from Lagimodiere Boulevard, were built in 1988 and the parking lot and sport fields near the McIvor Road entrance were built in 1990.

The committee endorsed the plan and instructed the administration to prepare a proposal for council’s consideration and inclusion in budget deliberations.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

  
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 Published: 01 August 2014
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Reconsider
 
Dog park proposals sent back to administration
By: Aldo Santin

Posted: 2:31 PM | Comments: 8
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Donna Henry, spokeswoman for WINDOG, Winnipeg Network of Dog Owner Groups, with her dogs Hudson, foreground, and Terra in the Kilcona Park Dog Park. (WAYNE GLOWACKI / FREE PRESS FILES)
A coalition of dog owners succeeded in convincing city hall to reconsider a controversial set of guidelines for off-leash dog parks.

The proposed guidelines were to go to council for approval next week but the dog owners found a receptive audience among members of the senior political committee.

Several members of the executive policy committee were critical of a consultant’s report that produced the guidelines.

"I don’t think (the report) went anywhere near far enough to deal with the issues," said Coun. Grant Nordman.

The dog owners coalition said the consultant had done a poor job, with inappropriate consultation, full of error and unfounded assumption.

"The analysis appears to be sloppy," said Donna Henry, spokeswoman for Winnipeg Network of Dog Owner Groups (WINDOG).

Henry’s group wants Winnipeg to establish four mega-offleash dog parks across the city, with community parks in every ward and several smaller off-leash parks in neighbourhoods across the city.

The group wanted the city to shelve the consultant’s report and conduct more consultations with dog groups and prepare another proposal for council’s consideration.

Henry said the proposed guidelines didn’t go far enough, a position shared by the senior politicians.

"This report did not do a good job in thoroughly consulting with a broader cross-section of dog owners and dog people across the city," Coun. Jeff Browaty said, adding Winnipeg doesn’t provide enough amenities for people who own dogs.

The committee sent the proposals back to administration for review and another report in July.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca
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 Published: 22 May 2014
 Last Updated: 22 May 2014
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Debate
 
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/city-committee-chews-over-dog-park-report-1.2639639

http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/committee-gives-green-light-for-more-off-leash-dog-parks-in-winnipeg-1.1817712

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2014/05/12/city-committee-approves-off-leash-guidelines-despite-humane-society-concerns

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Dog-owners-want-equal-park-funding-258947361.html
City committee chews over dog park report
www.cbc.ca
A city committee votes today on new guidelines for places where Fido can play off-leash in Winnipeg.

City committee's plans for off-leash dog parks draw debate
Off-leash dog parks plan spurs debate

Jeff Keele on a Winnipeg committee voting for new guidelines aimed at improving off-leash dog parks, while paving the way for new ones.
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CTV Winnipeg 
Published Monday, May 12, 2014 10:30AM CST
Last Updated Monday, May 12, 2014 6:31PM CST
A city committee has voted for new guidelines aimed at improving existing off-leash dog parks, while paving the way for new ones.

Committee member Coun. Scott Fielding said Winnipeg needs four to five more off-leash areas.

But dog advocates say the new guidelines for things like fencing and signage don't go far enough.

PHOTOS 

Some dog advocates say the new guidelines don't go far enough and want a system similar to one used in Calgary. (file image)
They want a three-tier system like Calgary that includes several neighbourhood parks, plus larger community and regional spaces.

Winnipeg currently has 11 off-leash dog parks.

But some of them are temporary spots, with developments set to transform them or they occupy land not owned by the city, which could be closed at any time.

"You put a dog park on somebody else’s land - there's development pressure. The city goes, ‘Oh, too bad, we can't have a dog park here anymore,’” said Bill McDonald from the Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS).

“We believe that dog parks are a right. They’re the same as all city parks,” said Donna Henry from Winnipeg Network of Dog Owner Groups (WINDOG).

They want the city guidelines set in stone and say a plan should be formed to put smaller off-leash dog parks in every neighbourhood for better access, with larger community-based and regional ones to complement those.

"It separates dogs from people who are afraid of dogs. It gets dogs off the streets. It gives them their own spaces,” said Henry.

The city said that plan would be too costly and there might not be enough green space to accomplish it.

WINDOG dog parks should be a core service and the WHS agrees.

Two members of the city committee, Coun. Brian Mayes and Coun. Scott Fielding, called dog parks amenities and not core services at Monday's meeting.

- with a report from Jeff Keele


Read more: http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/city-committee-s-plans-for-off-leash-dog-parks-draw-debate-1.1817712#ixzz31YuHVWJi

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 Published: 13 May 2014
 Last Updated: 15 May 2014
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Off-leash
 
 

City committee approves off-leash guidelines despite Humane Society concerns
4

BY KRISTIN ANNABLE ,WINNIPEG SUN
FIRST POSTED: MONDAY, MAY 12, 2014 12:38 PM CDT | UPDATED: MONDAY, MAY 12, 2014 05:13 PM CDT

 

Carson (left), 13, and Noah, 7, walk flat-coated retriever Sam in Voyageur Park on Sat., May 10, 2014. Some area residents have objected to a proposal to turn the park into an off-leash dog park. (Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun/QMI Agency) 

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The largest dog owner group in the city — the Winnipeg Human Society — is questioning why it was left out of the consultation process for the city’s guidelines for off-leash dog parks.

 

Bill McDonald, CEO of the WHS, said he found it “strange” that no one asked for their input when putting together the 70-page report.

“Guidelines are excellent, but they also need to have a plan and the citizens who are going to use these facilities should be consulted, including the biggest dog guy in the city, which is the Winnipeg Human Society,” McDonald said. “I find it a little strange, because we are the biggest neighbour to the Brenda Leipsic off-leash park ... and the only discussions on that park have been with the transit consultants.”

Delegates from both the Winnipeg Network of Dog Owners Groups and the Winnipeg Humane Society spoke in opposition to the guidelines at Monday’s protection and community services meeting, asking for a delay in passing it so more community consultation could occur.

The guidelines were commissioned over two years ago and presented to committee on Monday. The report, which cost $20,000, is to give the public service guidelines for the creation of future dog parks and maintenance of current parks.

McDonald said the guidelines didn’t go far enough to make decisions as to where exactly the parks should be, raising the question of whether they should be in neighbourhoods or in larger regional areas.

Committee member Coun. Scott Fielding said he’d like to see four or five new dog parks in the city and the guidelines passed on Monday will allow for that.

“I don’t think there is enough space for the big mega-parks they are talking about ... but what I would support is having four or five more small dog parks,” he said.

By creating a framework, as opposed to a policy for the parks it allows flexibility for new developments, he said.

“It’s make sense that you can follow the guidelines. Guidelines aren’t set in stone and you can make that decision on a case-by-case basis,” he said. “You want some flexibility.”

 

kristin.annable@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @kristinannable

 
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 Published: 12 May 2014
 Last Updated: 15 May 2014
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Winnipeg Sun
 
http://www.winnipegsun.com/2014/05/08/no-dog-unfriendly-candidates-allowed

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 Published: 09 May 2014
 Last Updated: 15 May 2014
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Voyager Park
 
http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/more-stories

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WINDOG
windog.ca

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 Published: 08 May 2014
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WINDOG
 
WINDOG
 
Winnipeg Network of Dog Owner Groups
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 

 

 

 

Monday, May 5 at 7pm
Winnipeg Public Library 1-1050 Henderson Hwy
 

Members of Brenda Leipsic, Kilcona, Little Mountain, and Maple Grove dogs clubs are invited to attend WINDOG’s first AGM.
 

WINDOG is a coalition of Winnipeg dog park clubs that advocates

• the establishment and maintenance of humane off-leash recreational opportunities
• sound off-leash legislation, policies, and practices

WINDOG promotes responsible pet ownership & park stewardship.
 

Agenda

• WINDOG’s 2014 goals and activities
• Financial Report and 2014 Budget
• “I own a dog AND I vote!” campaign
• Election of 2014/2015 Board of Directors
• Motion to approve WINDOG by-laws
• Motion to approve WINDOG membership fee structure

Our members
Kilcona Park Dog Club
Little Mountain Park Dog Club
Maple Grove Park Dog Owners' Association
Contact us
P.O. Box 55083
710 St. Anne's Road
Winnipeg MB R2N 0A8

Documents:
WINDOG by laws (pdf)

WINDOG fee structure (pdf)

 
 
 
 
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 Published: 27 April 2014
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Splash Pad
 
 

Splash pad for dogs proposed
37

BY JOYANNE PURSAGA ,WINNIPEG SUN
FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014 12:06 PM CST | UPDATED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014 06:52 PM CST

 

What would make Winnipeg truly world-class? A doggie water park, perhaps. (Winnipeg Sun photo illustration) 

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Turns out splash pads aren't just for kids.

Winnipeg could offer the cooling feature to dogs as well, if a dog park renovation proposal earns approval.

The Kilcona Dog Park Club hopes to fundraise and secure provincial and city grants for a doggy splash pad, doggy wash/shower station, drinking water fountain and more at their namesake park.

The splash pad for four-legged friends would be the first of its kind in Canada, said Donna Henry, president of the club.

"Winnipeg is quite a bit behind in developing off-leash areas," said Henry, noting many such splash pads are operating in the United States.

Much of the project's costs have yet to be determined, though a splash pad kit is expected to cost $50,000 before installation and a water fountain addition would cost at least cost $25,000 to connect the supply and add fixtures. User fees, which in other cities average about $30 per owner per year, are pitched to offset the operating costs of the splash pad.

The club stresses improving the city's largest dog park is worthwhile, since Winnipeg's number of household canines is about 110,000, just shy of its 124,000 children under age 14. Meanwhile, the city offers kids 4,000 hectares of parkland but just 100 hectares are devoted to off-leash dog areas, said Henry.

"Dog owners are absolutely the biggest users of Kilcona Park," said Henry. "We're there all the time."

The proposal is slated for discussion at the city's East Kildonan-Transcona Community Committee meeting on Tuesday.

It also pitches adding potable drinking water to prevent dogs from drinking pond water that the club says contains E. coli.

The club estimates Canadians spend $6.5 billion on their dogs each year, while American owners spend 10 times that amount, making a revamped park a great potential tourist attraction.

Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), a member of the community committee, said he believes parks are a core city service worthy of consideration, even if the city must pay for part of the project.

"There are thousands and thousands of dogs in our city and we do invest in recreation," said Browaty. "Putting a certain amount of investment in dog parks is a good investment."

Browaty said he's not sure a doggy spray pad would be among the elements worthy of city cash but he's open to discussing it, especially if the request is limited to operating costs.

The proposal is currently in the early stages, with several planning documents and city approvals still required.

 

joyanne.pursaga@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @pursagawpgsun

 
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 Published: 18 January 2014
 Last Updated: 22 January 2014
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A short time ago Kil-cona, Maple Grove and ourselves formed the WINDOG group.

Its intention is to create a forum for all Winnipeg Dog parks to voice the common concerns, goals and different events that we would like to be involved in. I will be adding in any new information as we go. 

The web address is windog.ca

Purposes: To establish Goals, Logistics for achieving these, resources needed, time-frame for incorporation, steering committee, logistics for educating park users about us.

Chairperson: Frank Machovec

Secretary: Kathleen Kirkman

Here is an on line version of our Pet-iquette Brochure

http://kilconaparkdogclub.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Kilcona-Brochure-2012-web.pdf

 

The City’s questionaire only works for people who take their dogs to Kilcona (it asks the respondents how they use the park, how often, etc.) so if you post it on your website can you preface the notice so that those who only use Little Mountain don’t respond.

 

Help Secure Kilcona Dog Park’s Future

 

The City of Winnipeg is in the process of developing a master plan for Kilcona Park.  The plan will set the direction for the park for the next 10 to 20 years. A concern for dog owners who use the off-leash area is that current uses are not “etched in stone”.

Kilcona Park's infrastructure requires significant investment. Financial resources and space within the park are limited.  Kilcona’s dog owners, cyclists, runners, skiers, soccer and baseball teams, and other sports groups are all competing for these limited resources.

It’s important for members of Kilcona’s largest year-round user group to take the time to the express their views about the future of off-leash area if they want the City to consider dog owners’ wants and needs as priorities and incorporate them in the master plan.

If you walk your dog(s) at Kilcona, please do your part to protect the off-leash area for future generations. Fill out the Visitor Survey questionnaire on the City’s website and encourage others who use the dog park to do the same.

http://www.winnipeg.ca/ppd/planning/KilconaParkHarbourviewRecreationComplex/default.stm

You can download the questionnaire, type in your comments and email it; or you can print it, write in your comments and fax it to 204-986-7524. If you prefer to mail it, the Canada Post mailing address is on the questionnaire.

The City will hold a public consultation meeting in April. Check the City’s website or Kilcona Park Dog Club’s website – kilconaparkdogclub.ca -  for place, date and time.


 

Protecting Winnipeg’s Off-leash Dog Parks

Angelika Zapszalka’s article in yesterday’s award-winning French language newspaper, La Liberté, draws attention to the rapid reduction in Winnipeg’s off-leash space. Here is a link to Angelika’s original article.

http://laliberte.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=59U6X0X14TZ5&linkid=d43f2d9b-68ac-42ee-a7e5-91eb44ce9fc8&pdaffid=%2BkGqAPpXYpRXYdI%2Fak0Obw%3D%3D

Thanks to La Liberté for permission to print the English translation that appears below.

Transcona’s only off-leash area closed in June 2012. Winnipeg’s Public Works Department paved and repurposed it. It is now part of the six kilometer Transcona Trail, a link in Winnipeg’s Active Transportation Network.

Transcona has no off-leash dog parks. This sign redirects dog owners to Kilcona Park and a small unfenced, off-leash area surrounding the Mazenod retention pond in St. Boniface Industrial Park.

Translated from Angelika Zapszalka’s article in the March 27, 2013 edition of La Liberté.

Dog parks in Winnipeg are losing ground. To advocate for their existence, an association of representatives of dog park groups and citizens concerned with the problem is being formed.

Many Winnipeg dog owners are unhappy. So are representatives of several dog park associations in the city. Not only are there few off-leash dog parks in Winnipeg, but some of them are endangered.

To address the situation, various groups and individuals concerned with the issue have decided to come together in an association they called Winnipeg Network of Dog Owner Groups (WINDOG).

“Our desire is to partner together to speak with one voice, says the President of the new association and Co-chair of the Maple Grove Park Dog Owner’s Association (MGPDOA), Frank Machovec. We want to defend the common interests of all members through a unique and enlightened voice.”

Towards Greater Transparency

Currently, about a dozen people attend WINDOG meetings. Among them are representatives of dog park [associations]- Kilcona Dog Park Club, Little Mountain Park Dog Club, Maple Grove Park Dog Owners Association, [King’s Park Dog Association] and individual members like Franco-Manitoban Mathieu Allard, an owner of three dogs who advocates for a dog park in St. Boniface.

“We are not yet an incorporated association, says Mathieu Allard. We are currently waiting for a coalition and the annexation of other groups and individuals to continue the process. We are also very open about the organization of the future super-association.“

In general, the main problems WINDOG points to are the City’s failure to consult with the public regarding guidelines that are being developed for Winnipeg’s off-leash areas, the lack of transparency regarding the closure of Winnipeg dog parks, and the failure to create new neighbourhood dog parks when existing ones are closed. The coalition also has questions about the health and safety of people and [dogs] using some of the existing parks.

Drastic Reductions

Most recently, the fate of Kilcona Dog Park has been particularly concerning. “The City has proposed reducing the area of the dog park by 50%,” informs Mathieu Allard.

The Coalition strongly opposes this scenario, which it considers is happening too frequently. “In Winnipeg, we went from 12 dog parks to 10 in the past five years,” says the Franco-Manitoban. This figure seems very small when we know that a city like Calgary has 150 parks dogs.”

WINDOG backs up its comparison with the City of Calgary, pointing out it is comparable to Winnipeg in the size of its canine population, estimated at 100,000 animals. “In Winnipeg, the total area of dog parks is approximately 100 hectares, while it is more than 1250 in Calgary, said Mathieu Allard. It is time for our city to take further measures in this regard.”

“WINDOG aims to do so while, at the same time, allowing the emergence of appropriate regulations for the existing parks dogs,” he says.

 

 

 

 

An uncertain future for Kilcona Dog Park
By: Alisa Pihulak

Posted: 04/2/2013 11:40 AM | Comments: 0

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Users of the Kilcona off-leash dog park are concerned by city plans to decrease the size of the park. (ALISA PIHULAK)
There are not many dog parks in Winnipeg, so Riverbend residences are thankful to be able to travel only 10 minutes by car to the Kilcona off-leash dog park.

Last last month, the thousands of weekly  visitors to the park were shocked to hear that the city plans to shrink the off-leash section of the park to half its size.

This beautiful space, with its natural playground of creek, hills, and open area is the site for furry friends to play Frisbee or catch, swim in the creek, and socialize with hundreds of beautiful breeds of dogs in a safe and controlled environment. It is a space that provides the necessary exercise needed for a dog’s physical and mental health. The joy of watching your pet enjoy the uninhibited freedom available only at an off-leash dog park is priceless.

Cutting the size of Kilcona Dog Park will result in many problems for the visitors and their beloved dogs.

Donna Henry, president of the Kilcona Park Dog Club says that there are only so many people and dogs that can fit into a limited space without causing damage to the environment and ruining the experience for its visitors.

"Cutting up the dog park will cause overcrowding to a very well-used existing space. The current visiting experience isn’t always what it should be because of overcrowding since the closure of the Transcona dog park," she said.

For Riverbend residents, Little Mountain Dog Park is the next closest off-leash dog park, about a 15-minute drive from the area. However, this park is also fighting to stay open since the City of Winnipeg proposed it as a site for routing of the new rapid transit system.

There is hope of saving Kilcona Dog Park from this proposition. Henry is encouraging people to become members of the Kilcona Dog Park Club. For only $5 you can register and enjoy many benefits of membership, including 10% off most purchases at the Reenders Square and Rivergrove PetValu locations, 10% off exam fees at McPhillips Animal Hospital and many more savings at other businesses in the area. Membership fees will go towards improving the Kilcona Dog Park, which just recently purchased cigarette butt dispensers at the park.

Henry believes the community can win the battle to save the park by standing together. She encourages people to write to Mayor Sam Katz and also to their area councillor. To become a member of the Kilcona Park Dog Club visit http://kilconaparkdogclub.ca.

Alisa Pihulak is a community correspondent for Riverbend.

 

Dog owners howling over feared park changes
 5Howling over proposed park changes


BY DOUG LUNNEY ,WINNIPEG SUN
FIRST POSTED: THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013 04:36 PM CDT

Donna Henry is seen in the Kilcona dog park in Winnipeg, Man. with her dogs "Terra" and "Hudson" Wednesday April 17, 2013. Henry is concerned that the city is planning to reduce the size of the park. (BRIAN DONOGH/WINNIPEG SUN/QMI AGENCY) 

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The City of Winnipeg is barking up the wrong tree if it follows through on plans to reduce the size of its biggest off-leash dog park, Donna Henry says.

Henry and Kilcona Park Dog Club members will be meeting with the city’s parks department Friday to discuss concerns regarding the city’s “strategic renewal and action plan” for the park. The discussions will build on community input gathered at the Kilcona Park/Harbourview Recreation Complex visioning workshops that were held in February and March.

“We think it’s completely ridiculous to reduce it because the city has never done any studies to see how many people are using the dog park,” said Henry, the club’s president.

Henry compared Winnipeg and Calgary to illustrate how the two cities view the value of off-leash dog parks. Calgary has the same dog population as Winnipeg, according to the City of Winnipeg auditor’s report in 2010, with both at about 100,000 canines.

“Calgary has 150 off-leash parks ... which equals 1,250 hectares,” she said. “Winnipeg has 12 dog parks, which equals 150 hectares.”

Club members are miffed about a response they received from a couple of city councillors that stated Kilcona is the largest dog park in North America. In fact, Calgary’s Nose Hill off-leash park is about seven times the size of Kilcona’s, she said.

“The implication is there that we’re just a bunch of whiners — that we already have the best dog park in the world,” Henry said. “You don’t have to look very far to see they either have the wrong idea, or this is just spin to discredit dog owners.”

A city spokeswoman said in an email a “broad based community consultation on the future of the park is underway ... with representation from park user groups, immediate neighbours and businesses, residents’ associations, nearby churches and community centres, interest groups, recreation organizations, regional health authorities and elected officials.

“These stakeholders have been asked to contribute to interviews and workshops on behalf of their constituents.”

It didn’t elaborate on why the changes might happen, but Henry speculated there is a proposal to dredge the ponds for dragon boat and kayak races, possibly with an eye on the city’s bid for the 2017 Canada Summer Games.

There are three design proposals, which could reduce the size of the dog park by up to 50%, Henry said.

The city established dog parks in 1998. The number of dog owners using Kilcona has steadily increased over the years, Henry said, particularly with the closing of a dog park in Transcona last June and the opening of the Chief Peguis Trail extension in 2011.

“The park is already overused at certain times of the day and year,” she said. “You’ve got people stuffed in there so they’re walking 10 feet behind the next set of people.

“We’re saying you not only shouldn’t be reducing the size of the dog park, you should be increasing it.”

Kilcona isn’t the only off-leash park where dog owners are upset. Last August, the off-leash area at Little Mountain Park was reduced into “a sliver” of the northwest corner in favour of rental space, Henry said.

“The area is not fenced on either of the two sides and it runs along Jefferson (Avenue) and Klimpke Road, which is an incredibly busy road,” she said. “It’s not just about losing valuable off-leash space at Kilcona, and that’s why people are so mad about it.”

For more on the renewal plan, go to winnipeg.ca.


 
 

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 Published: 22 January 2013
 Last Updated: 19 April 2013
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