Dog park group a grass-roots initiative

Valerie Thiessen, in her letter to the editor, responds to a recent Tribune article about the dog park in Williams Lake.

Editor:

I am respectfully responding to the recent article in the Tribune about the Williams Lake Off-Leash Dog Park.

In the article David Reedman questions how the decision was made and the amount of money spent on the Dog Park. With other projects listed as a priority he questioned how a dog park got the green light.

This letter states my opinion in a democracy where we have freedom to publicly express our own opinions and views.

As in other communities, there are various user groups utilizing city parks and financial resources.

While priorities are identified in various relevant Community Plans, fortunately small emerging projects that move the community forward are not precluded.

Community plans are guidelines and not dictums that are set in stone. Any effective and responsive Plan is a “living document” able to evolve as new information and priorities come to light.

City council is free to utilize existing committees such as the Central Cariboo Recreational Advisory Committee (CCRAC) or to strike independent advisory committees as needed. As the CCRAC has no decision making power and their energies are currently focused on the Pool Feasibility Study Project perhaps a Dog Park Advisory Committee comprised of informed and dedicated citizens was a practical way to proceed.

The Williams Lake Off-Leash Dog Park was created in response to a local grass roots initiative and reflective of a trend sweeping across North America. It is a partnership between the City of Williams Lake and a particular user group.

A similar process may have been followed during the development of the existing skateboard park and the bike park already located in Boitanio Park.

While the city has contributed $15,000 for fencing, the Dog Park Committee is currently fund raising for benches, irrigation, signage, promotional materials, etc. and aiming for a reciprocal contribution of $10,000 to $15,000.

When signage is in place the committee will make arrangements for the grand opening.

I close with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi:  “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

 

Valerie Thiessen

Dog Park

Committee member

Williams Lake