The District of Saanich hopes its pilot program creating short-term fenced areas for off-leash dogs will provide good information about sharing parks between pet owners and non-owners alike. (Pixabay)

The District of Saanich hopes its pilot program creating short-term fenced areas for off-leash dogs will provide good information about sharing parks between pet owners and non-owners alike. (Pixabay)

Furry friends have more off-leash park options in Saanich this summer

Program to evaluate designating off-leash areas, gauge acceptance from park users

Beginning June 29, dogs will have additional park options through a pop-up pilot program where fencing will be set up at five different parks for two-week intervals.

The program came to fruition based on a recommendation from the parks, trails and recreation committee, and $30,000 from the Council Strategic Initiatives Fund was approved to run the pop-up.

The five parks selected for the pilot are Fowler Park from June 29 to July 12, Hyacinth Park from July 13 to 26, Gorge Park from July 27 to Aug. 9, Rudd Park from Aug. 10 to 23 and Cadboro-Gyro Park from Aug. 24 to Sept. 7.

ALSO READ: Fenced dog parks to ‘pup-up’ in various Saanich parks this summer

The purpose of the pilot program is to evaluate the level of acceptance for designating off-leash areas, and to determine if establishing a temporary off-leash area in Gyro Park reduces the demand for the off-leash beach area.

“We want our beautiful parks to be enjoyable and comfortable spaces for all users and we want to support responsible dog owners,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff in a release. The pop-up program will also help with gathering useful information for the district-wide study to come, she added.

There is also an opportunity to receive feedback from dog owners and non-pet owners alike, regarding the key points of tension and how compromise can be found.

Overall, the committee said this will provide a better understanding of the most appropriate locations for off-leash areas.

Visit saanich.ca/dogs for the pop-up dog park schedule and more information.


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