The City of Lacombe, with a population of 12,728 residents, recognizes that dog owners require a safe and secure area within the community where they can take their pets for exercise and socialization.
The municipality also realizes that all park and trail users have the right to feel safe while enjoying their respective activities. As such, the City is working together with its consultants Lombard North Group Ltd. on a Municipal Green Spaces Review, a portion of which is dedicated to identifying and developing a permanent off-leash dog park in Lacombe.
The City had hoped to at least provide dog owners with a temporary off-leash area this fall at the previous location in Michener Park and still consult with the public on a recommended permanent site. Unfortunately, the under-construction hotel is using the former dog park land to house building equipment, so we cannot provide a site this year.
Search for a permanent dog park
The City and its consultants reviewed several locations for use as a permanent off-leash area including Woodland Park (west of 58th street); the Elizabeth Lake Drive Right of Way, the Wolf Creek Storm Water Pond area (south of the lagoons); an area along Len Thompson adjacent to Wolf Creek (beside the BMX Park); the Essex Park beside the new Sheppard’s Height subdivision; and a strip of greenspace on the west side of Michener Park. Unfortunately, these properties were excluded from further consideration based on the following assumptions.
- City-owned land
- Permanency of location
- Land conditions and topography
- Creating a larger space suited to the design for off-leash dog area use
- Least disruptive to existing infrastructure
- Least disruptive to proximate residents
However, there is one parcel of land that has been identified for serious consideration as a permanent off-leash dog park – an area directly adjacent to the future Public Works facility in the Len Thompson Industrial Park Phase II (see map below or click here for a downloadable map of the proposed off leash area). This area can be accessed from Len Thompson Drive via Wolf Creek Drive.
The proposed permanent off-leash area would be developed using the Municipal Reserve (MR), the Public Utility Lot (PUL), and the storm pond area.
Amenities and features
Citizens may note that this site has a lot of advantages. The land area is larger for the proposed dog park. A water body is included onsite, which is a feature that prospective users have asked for.
A light-duty parking lot can be developed on the MR to facilitate 24-hour access to the site, along with pathways, signage, water spigots, waste receptacles, agility training areas, berms and other social amenities.
Fencing for the Public Works lot will be erected this year, and additional fencing for the off-leash site with controlled entrances- can be installed next year. This can include an enclosed area for small or timid dogs.
With public approval, the municipality would spend the time needed to develop a great park with purpose-built amenities, as this location is a blank canvas, and not disruptive to existing infrastructure or to approximate residents.
Public feedback required
We need residents to weigh in and provide us with their thoughts and comments on the proposed location in the Len Thompson Industrial Park Phase II for a permanent off-leash dog park.
If the feedback received on the proposed location is positive and there is sufficient public support for this project, City administration will then present the off-leash dog park proposal to Council for review and approval.
Once approved, the site will be fenced for use as soon as possible. The public will be further engaged to provide input into the detail design and various amenities of this site for construction in 2015.