I read your recent article: “Pup-up parks in Saanich yield positive results.” While this headline might be true for the pop-up pilot as a whole, a quick review of the survey feedback shows that some parks were more successful than others.
Compared to the first four pop-up parks, the fifth and final location of Cadboro-Gyro Park was not a success. More than half (57 per cent) of the 155 respondents were dissatisfied with the Cadboro-Gyro pop-up compared to less than 10 per cent for each of the other four pop-up locations.
The top comments for Cadboro-Gyro included: not wanting a dog park at this location, concern with the proximity to residents and the playground, increased dog traffic in the park and the negative impact on wildlife, including migratory birds.
Saanich council recently passed a motion asking staff to explore the possibility of renewing this pop-up initiative in 2022, with an aim of identifying new locations. I certainly hope Saanich takes a close look at the feedback before considering park spaces that are in environmentally sensitive areas, near residential homes, or are close to popular children’s playgrounds.
If the aim of this pilot program is truly “to determine how park space can best be shared” then it is not just the views of dog owners that need to be considered. Other park users, including wildlife, need to have a voice as well.