Editorial: A little more conversation, please

A little more conversation will go a long way to striking a balance among Windsor Park users

Whether in marriage, business or community-building, good communication is key to good relationships.

When communications break down, misunderstandings and resentment follow.

So it would seem to be among the many user groups of Oak Bay parks.

The concerns are not unique to Oak Bay, but neither, we suspect, are the potential solutions.

Animals, including dogs, can cause damage to parks by digging holes, holes that can cause injury to an unsuspecting athlete or toddler. And, no argument here, no one likes stepping in dog droppings.

But it’s a two-way street. Just as the majority of dog owners are responsible and pick up after their pet, most sports users also care for the land they use and pick up their garbage. It’s the few who don’t who cause problems – and miscommunication – for the rest.

Oak Bay Parks estimates about 30,000 people use Windsor park annually, from the dog owners to sport enthusiasts to local families. The park is, as Parks Manager Chris Hyde-Lay said, for everybody.

However, that only one of 21 recommendations from a report into how Oak Bay could be more dog friendly was acted upon, likely rubs those involved the wrong way. Other suggestions, such as a pilot project providing “poop bags” in parks, like Victoria and Saanich do, were left in limbo.

Coun. Hazel Braithwaite is hoping to open more communication  between users, along with some new ideas. Just as golfers have sand and seed to repair divots on the fairway, for example, Oak Bay could provide fill so park users could quickly fill a hole they discover.

Will Oak Bay be able to make everyone happy? Probably not. But a little more conversation will go a long way to striking a balance from which we can all benefit.