Dog park long overdue
So, to all outward appearances, it looks like Banff will soon have an off-leash dog park.
Setting aside a small parcel of land as an area where dogs can run free occasionally, without the contraints of a leash, is no big deal Ė in other communities.
In Banff, itís an issue thatís gone on and on and finally, long after it should have been, itís been settled by freeing up 1.5 acres of greenspace where dogs can run free.
Having now been through the political wringer of site location, funding, Parks input, etc., all that remains is fencing and tree pruning (and maybe a poopbag dispenser?).
It seems a simple enough project, but, as with many things related to Banff the town and Banff the national park, there are a number of interesting aspects to it. Itís just another example of how what would be taken for granted elsewhere in Canada is a big deal in Banff.
In many communities, the fact that any kind of decision making was required to set aside some ground for dogs to poop and pee on would be seen as ridiculous in the extreme.
Here at the Outlook, where we view Banff as just one of the communities in the Bow Valley we cover, one brimming with residents who love and appreciate their mountain haven, a dog park has been necessary, not as a luxury item, but simply as a soon-to-be-embraced feature of community life Ė like roads, water, recreational facilities and community centres.
As weíve often pointed out, despite oft-voiced sentiments, Banff is not just for tourists, there are also those who simply call Banff home. They donít visit the town of Banff, they live in it, work in it, send their kids to school in it and embrace it as their hometown.
So, while an off-leash dog park will not likely be featured in future tourist brochures, or be the site of any special events, it will make the town a little more livable. Imagine, if you will, being a dog owner in Banff and, to not run afoul of bylaws, starting up a vehicle and heading east to a Canmore dog park to let your mutt stretch its legs, unleashed Ė not an environmentally friendly answer to exercising canines.
Of course, once the official dog park is open for use, there will be an onus on Banff dog owners to use it. Once open, there will be no excuse for letting dogs run loose in areas where they are not allowed.
We all know dog owners who want to let their animal run free have long been letting them off leash on lands where itís not allowed (not only in Banff, of course). Hopefully, having a dog park will reduce incidents of chasing wildlife and trail incidents with horses, hikers and bikers.
And for Banff residents who have written letters to the editor over the years about the lack of a dog park, the official opening should be a red letter day. The Bow Valley can be described as a dog-crazy area, so having an official dog park should be the answer to numerous problems.
In the end, the $30,000 set aside to create the dog park should be money well spent.
In order to post comments on our web site, you must validate your email address. An email was sent to you when you registered that included an activation link. If you have not yet done so, please click on the link to activate your account.
If you did not receive your activation email, please click here to have it resent.