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Letters: Dogged support for off-leash designation at Kinnikinnick Park

Brown Labrador running in through grass.


The hundreds of dog owners who regularly use Kinnikinnick off-leash dog park to exercise their canine friends are going to be in for a huge shock this spring, if Sechelt town council follows the recommendations of park manager and revokes the off-leash designation.    

Instead of the huge flat, open spaces that the two fields provide, dog owners and their pets will be asked to move to the not-yet-completed “Ebbtide dog-park.” This postage stamp-sized area is totally inadequate for the needs of the large population of dog owners who have made Kinnikinnick Park part of their daily life. 

The proposed new location lacks parking; has no washrooms (important for us senior dog owners), no water and is located off two busy streets.  More importantly it lacks size. Medium and large-sized dogs require proper space to exercise and socialize and they need a safe place to do it in. Cramming large numbers of active dogs into such a tiny space is an invitation for frustration and conflict. Forget about launching balls or throwing a Frisbee for your pooch ­– it will  be over the fence and into the traffic. 

For years, Kinnikinnick off-leash dog park has served the needs of dog owners, soccer and baseball players and small children who use the play area. But it is the dog owners who use the park the most – we are the ones who are there early in the morning and afternoon; in fair weather and most foul winter weather too.  The newly formed group SCARDO (Sunshine Coast Association for Responsible Dog Owners) has been created to encourage dog owners to use the park in a safe and responsible manner for everyone’s benefit. 

Dear mayor and council ­– please don’t change something that works so well! 

Patrick Tritchler, Sechelt