Planning is underway for the development this year of Innisfail’s first off-leash dog park.
Approximately $30,000 has been set aside for the project in the town’s 2011 capital budget, however it has not yet been determined what those funds will go towards.
The planning committee tasked with its development is hoping to have the park up and running before summer, said Shelley Gagnon, the director of community services for the Town of Innisfail.
“We have formed a small committee that will be looking at the location for the park and what will be in it and then we will be taking it back to the community one more time,” said Gagnon.
A number of community service members as well as several citizens-at-large are currently sitting on the committee and they will be taking the feedback from the public meetings and putting together a plan for the park which they will then present to the public.
Community members voiced their support for an off-leash dog park during public meetings held last November which attracted approximately 75 people.
“The information we got in November was great and now we are just looking to nail down some details,” said Gagnon.
“But we are absolutely committed to this project.”
Many residents are excited to see the idea of a dog park come to life in Innisfail.
“A dog park is a really good thing to have because dogs need to be able to run. I have run into people walking their dogs and talked with them and this is definitely needed,” said Marshall Wynnychuk, an Innisfail resident.
“I just have a little dog but my son has a big Shepherd and he likes to run him.”
Wynnychuk said he often sees people let their dogs off their leashes now but it would be better if they had their own park.
“I would like to see an enclosed park; a fence would make it so that the dogs really had their own designated area,” said Wynnyckuk.
While most dog owners are good at cleaning up after their dogs, Wynnychuk said having a dedicated park area for dogs would make it easier to regulate and enforce owners picking up after their pets.
“It would be something that the town would be able to check on but I wouldn’t expect them to have to keep looking in on, that is the responsibility of the dog owners.”