Run free, Fido, run free

Dogs will be able to run free in two Lake Country parks this summer.

Construction is starting in March on a one-acre off-leash dog park at the Oyama boat launch; and then a five-acre off-leash dog park on Okanagan Centre Road West.

“A lot of people with dogs are enjoying the multi-use pathway along the shoreline of Wood Lake and we’re glad a small off-leash dog park and beach could be included in the design of Pelmewash Parkway last year,” said Mayor James Baker. “When staff looked closely at the public parkland inventory in Lake Country and the proximity to developed neighbourhoods, they identified opportunities to provide a few different off-leash dog parks and beaches. Issues around safety and conflict, parking, inclusion and access, as well as park amenities were considered in putting together a comprehensive network of off-leash dog parks.”

The parks and recreation master planning process set out the vision, objectives and direction for managing parks, trails and community facilities for the next two decades.

“Extensive community engagement identified the need to improve the way people with and without dogs share our parks and beaches,” said Greg Buchholz, director of infrastructure services. “A proposed off-leash dog park network has been developed for the community with consideration to site suitability, sufficient parking, accessibility, neighbouring land uses and other potential park uses.”

With the Okanagan Rail Trail officially open, Matt Vader, manager strategic and support services, reminds people dogs must be on leash while using the trail so “having an easily accessible off-leash dog park at the north end of Wood Lake at the Oyama boat launch with parking and porta-potties close by just makes sense.”

Project signage will be installed at the dog park construction sites. In the interest of public safety, the construction areas will be closed to the public while the work is being done.

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