News / Edmonton

Edmonton gears to paw-sitively improve dog parks

Residents say a fence is needed for Lauderdale Off-Leash Park

Nicole Fraser poses with Rusty the dog at Lauderdale Off-Leash Park, where the city is beginning consultations on improving the area.

Kevin Tuong / For Metro

Nicole Fraser poses with Rusty the dog at Lauderdale Off-Leash Park, where the city is beginning consultations on improving the area.

With a statistics finding Edmontonians have more pets than kids, it’s no wonder the city is looking to improve Edmonton’s off-leash parks.  

Officials are asking the public to weigh in on a new pilot project for the Lauderdale Off-Leash Park in north Edmonton. 

The city is looking at adding things like waste bins, poop-bag dispensers, signage, and fencing at Lauderdale according to Nicole Fraser, management supervisor with Edmonton’s beautification and greening initiatives.

“One of the concerns is that people want a fence in the area, so we’re looking at that,” Fraser said Wednesday. “The barrier could come in the form of a fence, trees and shrubs, or a combination of both.”

But Fraser said the popular park is just a testing ground for ways to improve the user experience at other pet areas. 

The city will monitor dog owners’ satisfaction with the upgrades, and use those results to improve other parks, Fraser said. 

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Penny LeBlanc with her dog, Duke.

Kevin Tuong / For Metro

Penny LeBlanc with her dog, Duke.

She noted the latest Statistics Canada Data, released in 2014, showed 32 per cent of Edmontonians have dogs at home. That’s more than the 29 per cent of households with children. 

“A lot of people have dogs in their households,” she said. “So when we design parks we have to acknowledge that dogs are part of families.”

Dog owner Penny LeBlanc is concerned about safety measures at Lauderdale. 

“Animals will randomly, for no other reason, dart across the street because there’s no fence,” said LeBlanc, while playing with her pooch, Duke, at Lauderdale. 

“All they need is fences.”

Brian Smeek, who was also walking his dog at the park, said he’d like to see more bag dispensers to encourage people to pick up after their pups. 

“That would be great if we can somehow get more people to pick up their dog poop,” Smeek said. 

Edmontonians can attend an open house Thursday night to offer their ideas on improving Lauderdale. The event goes from 5 to 7 p.m. and will be held at the North West Edmonton Seniors Society.

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