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‘Pup-up’ parks set to return to Saanich, council still chewing on where and when

Proposed expansion of original rotation in the works; nine parks on initial list for 2022
Pop-up dog parks are likely coming back to Saanich this summer 2022 – but not before a few more decisions around which parks are best-suited for this purpose are considered. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Pop-up dog parks are making their way back to Saanich this summer after a successful launch in 2021. Just how many parks will be part of the 2022 rotation has yet to be decided.

Having hosted fenced off-leash areas for two weeks at a time at five Saanich parks last year – the pilot program received positive feedback overall – staff proposed boosting that number to nine for this year.

Those include Gorge, Hyacinth, Sierra, Beckwith, Cadboro-Gyro, Rudd, Copley East, Fowler and Horner parks.

During discussion of the program at the March 14 council meeting, Coun. Colin Plant questioned the list of parks considered for temporary enclosed spaces and wondered aloud why certain parks were on the docket while others worth looking into were not.

“Can council please be updated why, when we look at the proposed locations, we are not considering locations in Royal Oak and Broadmead, specifically Brydon Park and McMinn Park?” he asked.

ALSO READ: Saanich’s Fowler Park opens fenced areas for furry friends

Senior parks manager Eva Riccius said staff looked at a number of criteria to determine where to place pop-up parks this year. Those included such elements as available parking, open field space not used for organized sports, geographic distribution and avoiding sensitive natural areas.

Referring to the geography of McMinn Park, she said, “we have the new bike skills park, the newly replanted restoration area, there is a playground and pickleball and tennis facility – there isn’t a lot of extra room that would allow for a fenced area.”

The pilot project was initiated to determine how park space can best be shared. Pop-ups were hosted in turns at Fowler, Hyacinth, Gorge, Rudd and Cadboro-Gyro parks between June 29 and Sept. 7.

In the coming weeks staff will come back to council with recommendations on broadening park options.

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