Sooke resident rallies for dog park

Sooke council invites feedback on parks and trails master plan draft

Dog owners have been howling for a park for years, and now the idea might not be so far-fetched.

A plan for a dog park is being put to action, and Sooke resident Herb Haldane is working to bring the project to fruition.

A specific location for the park has not been nailed down, but Haldane hopes to see it installed near John Phillips Memorial Park.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait said she is looking forward to having the ideas brought forward to council, and said John Phillips park could be a good spot for the project.

“It’s a need in our community. We have a lot of canine friends and a dog park would provide a necessary safe space for them to exercise, play and socialize,” said Tait, a dog owner.

She noted the district is in the process of collecting feedback on a draft of the parks and trails master plan, and people are encouraged to share their opinions and ideas.

Tait said residents have been pushing for a dog park for some time, but the greatest challenge with making it happen has been finding a location and allocating funds for it.

ALSO READ: Sooke council repeals firearms regulation bylaw

Haldane has reached out to the community to help raise funds, and expects the project will cost about $15,000 including the fencing supplies and labour.

He said a few contractors have offered a few thousand in funds already, and hopes that the district will also either sponsor the park, or provide land.

“Dog owners are a big part of the population, and people need a place to take them,” said Haldane.

Haldane said having a dog park would help clear up the issue of dog waste being left on the baseball and soccer fields, and allow dog owners to have a place where their pets can run off leash, as Capital Regional District parks don’t allow it.

“Dogs are very social, and having a park gives them a place to integrate with other dogs,” said Haldane. “It’s been something that has been talked about for some years, I think it would benefit the community, and so I’m hopeful we can make it a reality.”

The master plan drafts for Sooke parks and trails and for transportation were released at Sooke council’s June 23 committee-of-the-whole meeting. The plans can be viewed on the district website at sooke.ca.

The public is welcome to give feedback, and voice their opinions at the July 9 virtual council meeting, or by emailing the district.

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