Council selects location for Saint Andrews dog park

SAINT ANDREWS – The Town of Saint Andrews has selected the Harry Mallory Sports Field as the location of the Saint Andrews dog park.

Discussions of a potential dog park in Saint Andrews have been ongoing since June.

Approximately 20 community members attended an open house held July 25 at the WC O’Neill Arena regarding two potential locations.

The discussion of pros and cons for both locations that transpired at the open house were presented at the Aug. 2 regular council meeting.

While the public noted the Queen Street extension location is closer to the downtown core, the issues of it being a location with higher noise due to downtown proximity and the surrounding residential area were raised.

Although the Queen Street extension is an accessible area with flat ground, it is also a much smaller area than the other option at the Harry Mallory Sports Field.

The Harry Mallory Sports Field is further from downtown and will involve cutting down a number of trees, which raised concerns. The project was estimated to cost $120,000, double what it would cost at the Queen Street extension location.

The desirable extra space available at the Harry Mallory Sports Field outweighed community concerns, leading council to select the sports field as the Saint Andrews dog park location.

“Everybody was in favor of having a dog park. They all saw the benefits to having one in the community,” said town clerk Paul Nopper.

The dog park committee has committed to raising a minimum 50 per cent of the total funds necessary to see the project completed. Construction on the project will commence when that minimum has been raised.

Despite the steep $120,000 budget, the Harry Mallory Sports Field permits a larger fenced in space for dogs, is a location that will likely draw tourists with dogs, and makes the sports field a place for the entire family.

“We’ll see how we make out with the fundraising,” said Mayor Brad Henderson.

The dog park committee consisting of community members met on Aug. 24 to discuss the fundraising plan.

“We’re very excited that this has come to fruition,” said committee member Kate Johnston. “We’re putting some plans into place.”

Within the next few weeks, the committee will be launching social media campaigns letting interested community members know how to make a donation to the dog park. Donations will be through the Town of Saint Andrews.

They also plan to look into any potential community grants they could be eligible for, in addition to hosting an array of special fundraising events this autumn and winter. Decisions on which events the committee will facilitate are to come.

“(The dog park) will improve life for everyone. A well exercised dog is a happy neighbour,” said Johnston.

The designated dog park is a good way to eliminate interactions between anyone who is opposed to interacting with dogs and provides a place for dogs to receive crucial socialization and exercise.

The dog park is yet another feature of Saint Andrews to appeal to tourists. Since the pandemic, more travellers are searching for trips that involve the entire family. The Saint Andrews dog park will move the popular tourist destination a step closer to accommodating all travellers.

heatherknight@stcroixcourier.ca