Winnipeg dog parks in ruff shape: report

WINNIPEG – The city’s off-leash dog parks are over-used and in need of some repair, an external study says.

The 70-page study, first requested by city councillors two years ago, was posted on the city’s website Friday; it will be presented to a city committee next week.

The report says in some off-leash parks grass has turned into mud, there isn’t enough parking and there are land drainage issues.

It also highlights areas of the city that are under-served by dog parks, including parts of the North End.

Winnipeg has 11 off-leash dog parks. Edmonton has 49 and Calgary has 150.

The purpose of the study was to develop guidelines for dealing with off-leash parks in the future.

Chris Funk brings his boxer Diesel to the Charleswood dog park, which will be taken over by the extension of the William Clement Parkway.

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“I hope they keep some of the park,” said Funk, who lives close to the site.

Brian Mayes, chairman of the city’s protection and community services committee, said the city won’t be taking money from the road budget to spend on dog parks, but he does feel the guidelines have value.

“The idea was to do some planning about where do we need them and what should they look like,” said Mayes.

St. Charles Coun. Grant Nordman is interested in converting Voyageur Park into an off-leash location. The plan will need council approval.

There is an information session scheduled for May 21 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Heritage Victoria Community Club on Sturgeon Road.

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