Dog walkers petition to stop Gardens Growth

In early January, 2015, a small group of dog walkers started an on-line petition to stop the growth and development of the Botanical Gardens.

The major premise or justification for this petition was that the BirthPlace Forest and Gardens are located in their "Dog Park" and that Garden volunteers should not be infringing on their space.

A 30 second Google search will reveal that there is no such thing as a "dog only park" in Calgary.

Check out this City of Calgary document that emphasizes that off-leash parks are "multi-use areas."

Furthermore, the off-leash bylaws define a Park as:

"a public space controlled by The City and set aside as a park to be used by the public for rest, recreation, exercise, pleasure, amusement, and enjoyment."

In response to this petition, we launched our own petition - not so much to get more signees than the off-leash people, but rather to give visitors of the Gardens and BirthPlace forest the opportunity to express how they feel about our efforts to contribute in significant ways to our community.

And express themselves they did!

Click here to read some of the comments made in support of the Gardens project.

Click above to sign petition to support the Gardens

We had already dealt with this issue at length with the Off-leash Group and on our website.

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, we met with members of this off-leash dog owners group, a City Parks representative, Silver Springs Association President, Jeremy Gukert and other community residents to discuss the issue.

At this meeting, we reconfirmed that we would not be developing new garden beds or building more structures in that area that have not been already approved of by the Community Association and the Parks Department. Much of the discussion centered around perceptions of what an-off leash area is and what the responsibilities are of dog walkers in such areas.

Please read what has already been said about off-leash areas and what the bylaws require of dog walkers.

The Silver Springs Community Association Board has also made a clear unequivocal statement that reiterates that dog walkers have no special privileges or priorities in City Parks designated as off-leash areas.

To read the Silver Springs Community Association Board of Directors' position on the issue, click here.