Council ponders dog park fence

Council is considering installing fencing around the northern area of Centennial Park which faces 14 Avenue. This section of the park was officially opened as an off-leash dog park last fall

Council is considering installing fencing around the northern area of Centennial Park which faces 14 Avenue. This section of the park was officially opened as an off-leash dog park last fall

A fence will be erected around the off-leash dog area at the north end of Centennial Park, but the style and materials have yet to be determined.

Parks and recreation department staff recommended a split-rail fence, but councillors were concerned about aesthetics and if large dogs could jump over it and small ones could squeeze through.

There has been moderate activity in the park since it opened last fall, but staff expect more dogs in the area once a fence has been installed.

“The biggest complaint has been the lack of fencing around the off-leash area,” said Ray Herman, director of parks and rec. Neither staff nor councillors have heard of any close calls of dogs running into the street or being hit by a car, but Herman notes most people are staying in the southern end  of the park.

“We hope a fence will bring the use back.”

Split rail would cost between $15,000 and $21,000, while a chain link fence would be more than $30,000.

Mayor James Atebe suggested planting shrubs too, and Coun. Heather Stewart predicted the park will be used more when temperatures increase.

“This was in our master plan,” she said.

“We should be viewing this as a pilot project and move on [to other sites].”

Staff will be researching other options, including fence structures, costs, and timing for the project. Council will discuss the issue again at a later date.