2016 Newsletters

Lots of off-leash news to share each month! Please let us know if you have any suggestions for content. Ideas can be emailed to riverparkoffleash@gmail.com. Thanks for your consideration.

December 2016
November 2016
October 2016

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016

June 2016
May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016
January 2016

Give It Up for River Park

Do you adore your dog? Are you thankful for having off-leash privileges in River Park? Are you willing to lend your support to ensure we maintain off-leash access?

There are various ways to support River Park:

  1. Keep it clean (faeces, broken toys, garbage, cigarette butts).
  2. Donate to our fundraising efforts for poop bags.
  3. Make sure your dog is well-behaved. River Park is a multi-use space with off-leash privileges so that means all other users are welcome too.
  4. If you see someone miss their dog having a poop, politely bring it to their attention.
  5. If you find a left over poop, please clean it up. Give people the benefit of doubt as many of us have missed one on occasion.

Hope you’ll lend a hand in one or more ways. All efforts are welcome and appreciated. Have more ideas or suggestions? Please let us know by emailing riverparkoffleash@gmail.com. Thanks for your consideration.

Strength in Numbers

Our team advocates for healthy lifestyles through walking with our dogs. We lead by example and educate fellow park users about respectful use whenever possible. We find much value in the old saying “There’s strength in numbers” and we hope you will too. Here’s what we mean:

  1. Everyone benefits when there’s a large group of people keeping River Park clean (free of faeces, broken dog toys, garbage, cigarette butts etc.). It results in a pleasant experience for all park users and keeps competing interest groups and people opposed to off-leash access at bay.
  2. Overall, people tend to follow suit and there’s better chance of buy-in when everyone makes an effort to maintain the park on a regular basis.
  3. Following our lead and example helps to build on the culture we’ve created at River Park.

We hope you’ll support the cause. For regular updates about River Park, visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for your consideration.

The Leadership Team’s Efforts

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.

Representation, Goals, Affiliations and More

Representation
Leadership team members meet regularly to discuss strategy and tactics. In the early days of meetings for the park (2006 to 2011) it was decided the best tactic was to educate and inform fellow dog owners about respectful and responsible park use.

Goal
Ultimately FRPS’ goal is to preserve off-leash access in this multi-use park. FRPS continues to conduct bi-monthly clean-ups and its members do their own efforts on a daily basis.

Affiliations
The leadership team has affiliations with The Southland Natural Park Society, The Friends of Nosehill, The Friends of Bowmont and The Varsity Off-leash Group.

Other Efforts
In 2008-2009, Linda and Candice from the leadership team created an off-leash presentation after visiting and researching each of the 141 off-leash areas listed on The City of Calgary’s website. The purpose was to learn about off-leash parks in Calgary and log pros and cons with each one. We were surprised to discover that many parks were near busy roads, were very small or were unusable and undesirable areas.

It was sent to aldermen and Bill Bruce,The City of Calgary Bylaw Director as well as several radio and television stations. The presentation along with an off-leash advocacy speech was presented by Linda and Candice to the Standing Policy Committee at City Hall early in 2009.