Town reveals new location for dog park
Dog owners in the Gander area will have a new place to take their pets for run.
© Brandon Anstey/tc•Media
MAPPING IT OUT – Dan Deschamps, director of Recreation and Community Services, points to a highlighted area of the map where the Town of Gander plans to construct a new dog park in the Cobb’s Pond area. The Town hosted a public meeting on July 8 to share ideas and to get feedback from dog park users about plans for the new park.
The current dog park will be closed once construction begins in the area for a new school. As a result, the Town looked to find another location for the dog park. At a public meeting on July 8, Dan Deschamps, director of Recreation and Community Services for the Town, said the new dog park will be in the Cobb’s Pond area. He said it will, most likely, include separate spaces for bigger and smaller dogs. Those who attended the meeting agreed that dividing the area one third for smaller dogs and two thirds for larger dogs would be the best way to separate the area. The entire area is about an acre of land.
“The idea is to put in a 200 x 200 fenced-in area in a natural area with fences that are six-feet high,” said Deschamps.
The dog park, said Deschamps, is an inexpensive and low-maintenance area that dog owners use frequently, and is a big part of the community. Having the park at Cobb’s Pond also compliments other development in that area. It’s also convenient, he said, because parking and other elements are already in place.
“We want Cobb’s Pond to continue to grow. It’s not going to be just what it is today. It’s going to continue to grow, and we strongly believe that a dog park in the proper location in that area would be good.”
Angus Ryan, proud pet-owner and frequent dog park user, said he’s happy about with plans for the new park. Heigher fences and separate areas for different sized dogs should be included in the new design plan, he said.
“The dog park is one of the best things to be ever put in Gander,” said Ryan. “I think a lot us thought we might not be getting another park, so this is a good thing.”
One idea to come up at the public meeting was establishing a dog park association would be a good way to oversee the new park.
“I personally, as a recreation manager, love having a group to oversee things whether it’s informal or not,” said Deschamps. “It works better than having 40 voices shouting. I prefer to have one, and I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary, but I would really shoot to have an association; at least to have some contact people to make sure what we’re doing is still working. It kind of empowers group members as well.”
Ryan agreed with Deschamps, saying an association would empower the group to prevent misuse of the park.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Ryan.
Cheryl Melendy also uses if the dog park. The proposals for the new park are impressive, she said, and its location is a big win for the community.
“This is great, and I think it’s just one more thing to attract people to Cobb’s Pond,” said Melendy.
As for a timeline, it all depends on when construction of the new school begins at the site of the current dog park, said Deschamps.
“There is a possibility that they don’t start any construction until next year but it could be as early as this fall,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Town is preparing.
“This fall we’re going to have some of our guys cut out the area. I guess the best-case scenario is they don’t start digging until next year and we have the funds in place.
We would start in the spring and you guys could still have access to the other dog park. Otherwise, there might be a few months without an official dog park, but there will be a new one coming.”