Man’s best friend will soon have a new place to play in one East Vancouver neighbourhood.
On Monday, Vancouver Park Board commissioners unanimously approved a new, fenced off-leash dog area at Pandora Park in the Grandview-Woodland area. The space, which is about a quarter of a hectare in the northwest corner of the park, will be fenced so dogs will be able to run free and will also include a looped path, access to drinking water, shade trees and seating areas.
The new off-leash area is part of a number of changes planned for the park including upgraded paths, new seating and picnic areas, and a new entrance at Franklin Street. The project will see two of the existing four tennis courts removed and replaced by a basketball court. The remaining two tennis courts will be resurfaced.
The total cost of the project is estimated at around $800,000, with approximately $200,000 of that going to the off-leash area.
Grandview-Woodland was one of six areas in the city identified as being underserved by the current network of off-leash areas.
There are currently 37 off-leash dog parks in the city, including a new one opened this fall at Renfrew Community Park. A total of four new off-leash areas are planned for parks across the city as part of the park board’s People, Parks and Dogs plan, which was approved by commissioners in October 2017.
The plan is an over-arching strategy aimed at improving existing off-leash areas, creating new ones and promoting a more positive experience for all park users by clarifying rules, boundaries and etiquette in leash-free areas, over the next 10 years and into the future.
“The number of people and dogs in Vancouver is growing and so it’s more important than ever to balance different uses of parks and public spaces,” said park board chair Stuart Mackinnon.
Additionally, this year the park board launched an initiative aimed at recognizing and encouraging stewardship in the off-leash areas. “Dog ambassadors” held pop up events at parks and community centres in an effort to consult with dog owners on how they would like to get more involved. The ambassadors also hosted a speaker series on dog behaviour to help build a community amongst dog owners and start a discussion on ways to encourage stewardship in the off-leash areas.
Interested residents can sign up to receive stewardship updates by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.