Ward 13 Dog Park Update

Ward 13 Dog Park Update

By Diane Colley-Urquhart on April 13 2017

On June 22nd, 2016 I hosted an information session at the Woodcreek Community Hall in response to the closing of the unofficial off-leash dog park located just off of HWY 22X. With the construction of the South West Calgary Ring Road (SWCRR) to begin late 2016, the area was closed by The Province as of January 1st, 2016. This closure left a huge void for our dogs, in not just Ward 13, but also in the surrounding areas. With the closure, I have been working hard with the City of Calgary Parks Department, The Province and Private Partners on a solution for a permanent off-leash park in the area.  

The most promising potential location to situate this new park is on a portion of the Transportation Utility Corridor (TUC) as part of the new SWCRR. With design of the Ring Road completed and construction underway we’ve been able to reaffirm there is a segment of land, approximately 30 acres within the TUC near HWY 22x and east of 37th Street SW that is not required for and does not conflict with the SWCRR project. The adjacent land owner, Dream Development sold this land to the Province for the TUC, last year. We have been working with the Province, the City, and Dream Development to enable access and use of this land for the off-leash dog park for several months. It is seen as a potential win-win-win – a project that utilizes a portion of the TUC that’s not required for the road project, serves a City parks need for SW residents, and helps enable a key amenity for the adjacent developer as it builds out a “complete community” in Providence.

Funding for an off-leash dog park in Ward 13 has already been allocated through the Parks department, specifically in talks with John Merriman, Parks Community Strategist, who has been working closely with the Ward 13 office, The City, and Dream to move the project forward. There remain many moving parts to make this project a reality. However, this is a project that I, as an dog-lover like many of you, would like to see solidified.

Other Considerations

  • Building Costs (Regional Off-leash Areas) 
    • $400,000 – $800,000+ (Parking & Fencing)
  • Maintenance Costs (Regional Off-leash Areas)
    • Sue Higgins Off-leash $18,000/mo
    • Auburn Bay Off-leash $70,000/yr
  • Community Engagement
  • SWCRR
    • As of April 1st, KGL has placed a large gravel pit operation in the very location Dream had identified as usable for the 30 acre dog park. This of course is only temporary during construction, but it is not something that was identified during the planning process. Regretfully, this gravel pit will be operational for 2-3 years during construction. We will work with the contractor to return the site to a state that will be suitable for a dog park once they are completed construction in 2020. Dream has potentially allocated a 5-10 acre site nearby that could be suitable and temporary, but until construction is complete there is a hindrance in creating the permanent facility.

Considering the timelines and setbacks, this project will require volunteers and champions in our community to help push this along to the finish line. Many of you signed up for the Ward 13 mailing list at my last dog park information session, and some of you voiced that you would volunteer your time for this important endeavor. We will be reaching out to dog-lovers and owners to assist with getting Ward 13 a much needed off-leash area to allow our furry friends a place to roam and socialize.

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