Off-leash walking is similar to other forms of recreation, people just happen to do it with a dog. We believe that people support off-leash initiatives by volunteering or conducting themselves in an ethical manner, much like people do for other recreational activities. The biggest difference is off-leash recreation is not organized like other activities and often dog people are quite oblivious that there are any issues or that there are people with competing interests in park spaces.
These are the primary reasons for creating an off-leash advocacy group with a leadership team.
Most people have no idea that meetings, a consultation process and surveys occurred from 2006 to 2009. It resulted in passing of a design and development plan for River Park, Sandy Beach and the Britannia Slope in 2011.
Our group tried our best to represent dog people with off-leash interests. We were disappointed to lose 1/3 of the total off-leash access in River Park and approximately 50% of off-leash access in Sandy Beach and the Britannia Slope.
Much of the plans posted on The City of Calgary’s website are on hold, likely because they stated $8 million would be needed to proceed with and complete development.
We have everyone’s best interests at heart but we are most passionate about off-leash walking and we’re willing to work to maintain access in the park. Our leadership team continues to keep abreast of park developments and works daily to educate fellow dog people about the importance of supporting and maintaining cleanliness in the park and modelling good behaviour. The intention is to ensure we maintain off-leash privileges in the amount of space we have.