Thanks to all those who attended the engagement session on Monday October 17. If you didn't attend, you can see the concept boards here.
The following is a summary of the event from organizer Maureen Lively.
Dear Friends of Glengarry Park
On behalf of the Killarney-Glengarry Community Association and the City of Calgary, I would like to thank everyone who had the opportunity to attend the open house. I’m very pleased to say that we had seventy-seven (77) people attend this evening’s event and voice their opinions with respect to the preliminary plan that was prepared by the landscape architects engaged by the Community Association. I think it is fair to say that everyone there tonight is certainly passionate about their community and definitely was afforded the opportunity to voice their opinion and know that they were being heard. I have to admit that from a personal point of view it made me realize once again how fortunate we are to live in a society that listens and cares about our concerns. Being a Canadian, and a proud Calgarian, is definitely a privilege.
So what did we learn tonight?
I think everyone would agree that it was made very clear tonight that this is not a special interest group initiative to create an off leash dog park. Rather, it is a community initiative with significant grass roots support to revitalize Glengarry Park into a multi-use, inter-generational community facility designed to transform an underutilized beautiful resource, in the centre of our community, into a vibrant focal point that engages community spirit and involvement.
We received significant feedback on the addition of badly needed park benches and picnic tables; there was a great deal of discussion concerning the new children’s play area with jumping stumps etc.; there were pro and con arguments with respect to the proposed walking path; and there were certainly differing opinions as to both the need for an off leash dog area, as well as with the size of same. The City will now take all of that input and hopefully move forward with the next step of the process to incorporate all of those suggestions, as best as possible, into a revised park rehabilitation plan.
As much as many of us would like to see a park that truly incorporates the wants and wishes of all of the citizens of our community, we must be cognizant that there is still a lot of work to be done. The City was clear when they were first approached that they would not entertain a full off leash park. However, as is evidenced by their hosting of tonight’s event, they are equally clear, that they support the concept of a multi-use facility, which includes a fenced off leash dog area.
But, please remember that the park is currently NOT an off leash facility and the City Bylaw officers will be diligently enforcing that bylaw until a final determination is made as to what can and will be done with the park. Please govern yourselves accordingly. If you do by chance have your dog off leash and children come to the park to play in the open field please be respectful of their right to play in an area without being chased by dogs. So please, if there are people playing in the open space, make sure your dog is clipped onto their leash. Similarly, if people are walking through the park, you may know your dog is friendly and won’t bite them, but they do not know that. So, once again, make sure your dog is not harassing people who simply use the park as a pathway to or from school or transit.
Similarly, for those who are opposed to having dogs in the park, remember that this is a community park and as such must cater to the needs of everyone. So, be respectful of the dog owners and if you have a comment/complaint/suggestion for the dog owners, try something novel. Talk to them. We all live in this community because we chose it as where we want to live and grow with our families, together in a positive, strong, safe and respectful community. Let’s all work hard to ensure that is the case.
It was requested tonight that The City erect temporary signs at the park entrances to remind everyone that this is currently not an off leash facility and bylaw enforcement will be stepped up to ensure that the current bylaw is enforced.
More importantly, starting tomorrow and running until October 25th, log onto www.calgary.ca/NewOffLeashAreas and show your continued support for the revitalization of our park by completing the feedback form.
There is a lot of work still to be done, but rest assured that the Community Association working in conjunction with the City of Calgary Parks Department will do its best to bring this initiative to fruition.
If you have any questions or would like to join the committee, please contact me.
Together we can make a difference!
Maureen Lively, Glengarry Park Revitalization Project Coordinator
Killarney-Glengarry Community Association