Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION
Dog park, bocce pitch being sought for community
The Wolseley Residents’ Association is working to find space to meet the growing demand for an off-leash dog park and bocce pitch in the community.
At its June 28 meeting at R. A. Steen Community Centre, the association formed a committee that will work with both the city’s animal services and parks and open spaces department to see what can be done to accommodate the needs of both dog owners and bocce players.
More than 50 community members attended the two-hour meeting, which arose following a conflict over the repurposing of the lawn bowling green in Vimy Ridge Park.
"The two uses may not be able to be accommodated in one space," said WRA chair Cynthia Neudoerffer.
For about the last year, the fenced space, which is nearly an acre in size, has sat idle, with both dog owners and bocce players wanting to use it.
In the fall, the city plans to remove the fencing around the bowling green, fill in its gutters, and turn the land into a picnic area for the nearby playground and wading pool.
The WRA committee will work with the city to create an inventory of available green spaces in the neighbourhood.
"We want to know: what are the different spaces open in the community and what are the different options we can implement for those spaces?" Neudoerffer said.
"We don’t see why we can’t have a win-win here."
Jack Lubinski, a parks superintendent for the city, along with animal services department head Leland Gordon, attended the meeting.
Both said the Vimy Ridge site likely wouldn’t work as an off-leash park, citing size and costly landscaping improvements.
However, they stressed other green spaces in the area could serve as alternate locations, noting Halter Park alongside Omand’s Creek.
"You may end up with something better than you have now," Lubinsky told residents.
Residents discussed ideas such as keeping the space shared and an off-leash space near the baseball diamonds at Omand’s Creek Park.
At the meeting, Wolseley resident Bev Peters suggested the two groups work toward sharing the Vimy Ridge space, noting Wasaga Beach in Ontario has a dog-friendly section along the water.
"It doesn’t have to be so antagonistic," she said.
One individual who attended the meeting said pet owners don’t want to wreck the park, just enhance it.
"It’s an opportunity to make the park work better for everyone," she said.
Cassin Elliot, who created the Vimy Ridge Bocce League, said groups can learn to share the space.
"We want to make sure that space is being used as much as possible," he said.
The WRA will hold its next meeting Thurs., July 19 at R.A. Steen from 7 to 9 p.m., during which time the new committee is expected to present its first report.
For more, visit www. wolseleyresidents.ca.
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