News / Edmonton

Shy dogs to get their own space as part of new park project

Pilot program to be located at new Lauderdale Park site

Amanda Brown and Izzy next to the new separated area for shy and or small dogs in the Lauderdale Dog Park.

Kevin Tuong / for metro

Amanda Brown and Izzy next to the new separated area for shy and or small dogs in the Lauderdale Dog Park.

Shy dogs are getting their very own off-leash park.

The new spot, part of a dog park pilot project, will be located at Lauderdale Park in north-central Edmonton.

“If you have a shy dog or a dog recovering from surgery, any dogs that are a bit more vulnerable, they can utilize that space,” explained Amanda Brown, a parks manager with the city.

The new shy dog section is one of many new features at the kilometre-long field on 127 Avenue between 109 Street and 113A Street. Upgrades to the existing dog park started in late November when city crews installed a fence around the park perimeter with double-gated entrances.

The fences are meant to address concerns raised through two public consultation sessions and an online survey this past Spring.

“Dogs were going onto the road and creating a dangerous situation for the owners and the drivers in area,” Brown said.

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The Lauderdale Dog Park was chosen for the site of the pilot project because users had already independently started to discuss issues prior to the city getting involved.

The in-person consultations showed 88 per cent supported some form of fencing at the park, with 26 per cent of those supporting full fencing.

In the online survey, half of the comments supported fully fencing off the site.

The final phase of construction is set for spring 2018 and will include the planting of more trees, increased lighting, replacing notice boards, installing garbage cans, water pools and poo bag dispensers.

What’s learned from this pilot project will help further develop the 40-plus off-leash dog parks in Edmonton, some of which have been around since the 1990s. It’s all part of the city’s Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy, approved by council in 2016.

“Over the years we’ve established quite a few new parks but we’ve started to notice some issues at existing parks. And we wanted to make sure they were functioning optimally,“ Brown said.

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