There are not many dog parks in Winnipeg, so Riverbend residences are thankful to be able to travel only 10 minutes by car to the Kilcona off-leash dog park.
Last last month, the thousands of weekly visitors to the park were shocked to hear that the city plans to shrink the off-leash section of the park to half its size.
This beautiful space, with its natural playground of creek, hills, and open area is the site for furry friends to play Frisbee or catch, swim in the creek, and socialize with hundreds of beautiful breeds of dogs in a safe and controlled environment. It is a space that provides the necessary exercise needed for a dog’s physical and mental health. The joy of watching your pet enjoy the uninhibited freedom available only at an off-leash dog park is priceless.
Cutting the size of Kilcona Dog Park will result in many problems for the visitors and their beloved dogs.
Donna Henry, president of the Kilcona Park Dog Club says that there are only so many people and dogs that can fit into a limited space without causing damage to the environment and ruining the experience for its visitors.
"Cutting up the dog park will cause overcrowding to a very well-used existing space. The current visiting experience isn’t always what it should be because of overcrowding since the closure of the Transcona dog park," she said.
For Riverbend residents, Little Mountain Dog Park is the next closest off-leash dog park, about a 15-minute drive from the area. However, this park is also fighting to stay open since the City of Winnipeg proposed it as a site for routing of the new rapid transit system.
There is hope of saving Kilcona Dog Park from this proposition. Henry is encouraging people to become members of the Kilcona Dog Park Club. For only $5 you can register and enjoy many benefits of membership, including 10% off most purchases at the Reenders Square and Rivergrove PetValu locations, 10% off exam fees at McPhillips Animal Hospital and many more savings at other businesses in the area. Membership fees will go towards improving the Kilcona Dog Park, which just recently purchased cigarette butt dispensers at the park.
Henry believes the community can win the battle to save the park by standing together. She encourages people to write to Mayor Sam Katz and also to their area councillor. To become a member of the Kilcona Park Dog Club visit http://kilconaparkdogclub.ca.
Alisa Pihulak is a community correspondent for Riverbend.