Group fights proposal to shrink off-leash dog park at Trout Lake
Dog walkers are concerned their park at Trout Lake will shrink as the park is renovated. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
A Vancouver woman has launched a campaign to prevent the off-leash area in John Hendry Park from being drastically reduced.
Erin Filtness says the reason she chose to live near the park, which includes Trout Lake, was because it was close to a massive dog park with no restrictions on hours of use.
She’s worried that could be threatened by a draft plan option that she said would shrink the park from approximately 29,000 square metres to as small as 6,000, and see it fenced off.
“That’s what we’re hoping to stop,” Filtness said. “I purchased my home last year two blocks from Trout Lake specifically for taking her there every single day.”
She said she’s been asking people in the park if they are aware of the plan and only about 50% of those asked knew about it.
Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Niki Sharma stressed the smaller off-leash area is part of a draft plan, including a number of improvements to the park, but is not set in stone.
Sharma said the idea was created through canvassing residents — some wanted the off-leash area actually shut down — and people can still give their feedback to the board.
“We still want people to give comments on what they think about it,” Sharma said. “I think what staff tried to do is balance the different views we got on the dog off-leash area.”
Documents on the park board website showed canvassing resulted in 36% of respondents wanting the area left as is, with 44% wanting it enclosed. About 16% wanted it moved away from the lake.
Filtness said she is skeptical about just how much of the public know about the plan and said her group — which has gained 800 members on Facebook — will be at the off-leash area Sunday at 1 p.m. to pass out information.