In the near future, Selkirk dog owners will be able to drop the leash and let Fido run and play with friends in an off-leash greenspace, but before that can happen we need to hear from Fido’s mom and dad.
Dog owners have said in previous public consultations that an off-leash area is important to them. The City of Selkirk identified the establishment of such a greenspace as a priority in its 2016 Recreation Strategy and allocated funds to complete the project within three years.
Have your say – Through a CitizenVoice survey
In order for the greenspace to meet the public’s needs, the city is looking for input through a CitizenVoice survey.
Chief Administrative Officer Duane Nicol said giving residents the chance to have their say will ensure the area meets their needs and expectations. The city’s Strategic Plan calls for public engagement as well as development of outdoor spaces and providing the best recreational opportunities.
“We know that people’s pets are important to them, and we know that getting outside with your dog is good for the pet and the person. It gives everyone the chance to be active and to ‘Get Outside’. A key part of our community strategic plan is to provide opportunities for that,” Nicol said.
“But we want to do it right, we want to know what dog owners need in an off-leash area. So we’re asking for input through CitizenVoice, our tool for getting reliable and statistically significant engagement with our citizens. We hope dog owners take this opportunity to participate and speak up for our four-legged citizens.”
Endless options – help us choose
There are plenty of options when it comes to an off leash park. Taking part in the survey allows you to have a say in what the off leash area will look like. Will it be fenced, or creatively use natural boundaries to retain greenspace aesthetics? Will it have lots of trees, be wide open or have a combination? Your opinion matters.
Nicol said that city has identified a number of potential locations, however they offer different amenities. Using the survey, the city will select a location that best delivers on the priorities of users while responsibly balancing the costs of construction and ongoing maintenance.
The survey will include questions on what other amenities are important to you, such as benches, drinking water, lighting, washrooms, or segregated areas for smaller dogs. The area will include garbage and recycling containers as well as doggie bag dispensers.
The city would like to know if there are any residents interested in forming an off leash committee and partnering with the city to oversee the greenspace.
Ruth Rolfe, the city’s Manager of Parks and Recreation Facilities, and resident dog-owner, encourages everyone to take the survey and make sure we create an off-leash area that will be enjoyed by all dogs and all dog owners.
“I am so excited to be heading this project,” Rolfe said.
“I have developed a fenced-in dog park in a another community in partnership with a community group, and I am the owner of a large breed dog, so I am totally on board with this project.”
Sign up today
To participate in the survey, you must first join CitizenVoice. Being part of CitizenVoice allows you to have a say in shaping the city’s future by participating in approximately four short surveys per year. You can join CitizenVoice by clicking HERE
The off-leash dog area survey will be released on October 8th, so if you want to have your say, join today.