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Off-leash dog parks return June 1 in Saanich

Pop-up pilot program sees nine parks in mix this year, up from five in 2021
Saanich is launching its 2022 pop-up off-leash dog park program June 1 in Beckwith, Gorge and Vantreight parks. The pilot program includes nine parks this year, up from five in 2021. (Adobe stock)

After a successful first year of the pilot program, Saanich Parks, Recreation and Community Services is preparing to host another round of its pop-up off-leash dog parks.

The number of parks to be used for the program has increased to nine for 2022, up from five last year, with Cadboro-Gyro Park dropped from the rotation this time and Beckwith, Vantreight, Copley East and Horner parks added. Gorge, Fowler, Rudd and Hyacinth parks remain on the list.

Opening hours for the fenced areas will again be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, but no enforcement of operating hours will be done by parks staff.

The openings kick off June 1 and run through June 27 at Beckwith, Gorge and Vantreight parks. From July 1 to 26, dog owners can let their pets roam free in enclosures at Blair, Copley East and Rudd Parks, and from July 30 to Sept. 6, off-leash areas will be hosted within Fowler, Horner and Hyacinth parks. Pop-up park users are encouraged to visit (search for Pop-up Dog Parks) to find maps showing the exact locations. Dates and location may be subject to change.

Off-leash park users are reminded to observe some basic rules, including to keep dogs collared and have their leash readily available, to bring and use dog waste bags, know where your dog is at all times, and keep dogs home if they are sick so as not to infect other animals.

A total of 585 people responded to a survey undertaken by the District of Saanich in 2021 to gauge users’ opinions on the project and receive comments related to their experiences. Of those, nearly 80 per cent said they would use the enclosed dog park if it became permanent, over 80 per cent reported being satisfied with the opening hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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