Summer has long passed, but in the months leading up to the winter reflection, dog owners may be curious to review the results of the summer pop-up dog parks in Saanich.
For two weeks at a time last summer, fences were put up at five Saanich parks to locate off-leash areas for dogs.
The pilot project was initiated to determine how the park space can best be shared and involved pop-ups were rotated in Fowler, Hyacinth, Gorge, Rudd and Cadboro-Gyro parks between June 29 and September 7.
An online survey was also opened throughout the duration of the program and collected 585 respondents; their most visited dog park pop-ups were Cadboro-Gyro and Hyacinth.
When asked if they would use a permanent enclosure, 80 percent of respondents said yes. When asked what would concern them most if pens were permanently installed in a park near them, the main responses were ineffective control (31.38%), potential for aggression from dogs (30.34%) and cleanliness (29.14%).
However, 53 percent of respondents said they had no concerns at all.
Com. Judy Brownoff, who led the project, said it has been generally well received by the dog community. Social benefits have been seen with pop-ups, not only between pet owners but also between dogs, she said.
“What I had heard from some residents was that if we were to do this, we should try to place them where higher populations and better socialization among neighbors would be found,” Brownoff said, noting that c was a good way to bring people together outside. . “A lady said she had met neighbors she hadn’t even met before.
The pilot project included hiring a student to monitor, observe and report on temporary installations.
The spaces allowed dogs to play off leash, while promoting community building and education around pet etiquette.
The information gathered from the pop-ups will be part of Saanich’s people, pets and parks strategy starting in 2022.
To see the results in more detail, go online at https://bit.ly/3Dz9MAI.