Spring landscaping and safety improvements in the city’s off-leash area began on April 25 and are expected to last four weeks.
Over a year ago, city administration employed public engagement to determine what improvements frequent users of the off-leash area wanted.
“A lot of the changes were based on what we heard from people,” said Community Operations Lead for the City Kathy Russell.
She added that the city plans to complete the improvements in the fall and early spring to not disrupt the peak use time of the park.
The focus is on modifying berms, laying sod and seeding, installing trees and native grasses, installing split rail fencing, finalizing secondary trails, adding shade sails at the pebble dog beach, and adding additional picnic tables and garbage cans.
In some areas of the park there needs to be a cleanup of piles of dirt have been left, , Russell added, in other areas the extra material can be used to make small berms, which will create natural dividers to create spaces rather than using fencing.
Along with adding berms, the city will also be adding a new shade sails by the pebble beach and will add large boulders for people to sit on.
The timeline for adding the shade sail is still uncertain, because the logs that will be installed are not locally sourced.
“The rest of the work can be easily completed over the next four weeks,” Russell said.
Last year, the city added more garbage bins, more places to sit, removed the rotting retaining wall, created the pebble dog beach, and improved drainage within the park.
Water flows into the park from different locations, and drainage needed to be addressed, Russell said.
The city needs to ensure the drainage is working efficiently and make any adjustments as required.
“It was more functional as opposed to adding amenities in the park,” Russell said.
The city endeavored to balance the needs of dog owners and non-dog owners who use the park, Russell said.
“Everyone loves the park, and they didn’t want huge changes to it. They liked the naturalized feeling,” she said.
The city has endeavored to honour that desire while improving the safety of the park.
To keep the naturalized feeling of the park, goats were brought in to chew down and weaken the weeds, which has been very effective.
“There will be a transition away from weeds to more naturalized prairie grasses,” Russell said.
Within the next couple of weeks, there might be some inconvenience where portions of the pathways have been shut down periodically.
“We apologize for the inconvenience, but it will be an improved park within the next month,” Russell said.