Wagging tails are welcome without a leash at the revamped Glen Lake Beach Park in Langford.
“At the city we are getting at least one call a week from residents who say they need a place to exercise their dogs,” said Jane Waters, Langford park planner.
Waters has two Welsh corgis, Sasha and Rosie, and understands the importance of socializing dogs and giving them somewhere to run.
“The dog exercise area is long and linear and you can definitely throw a ball for dogs here too,” Waters explained.
Langford Coun. Lanny Seaton has lived on Glen Lake for 46 years. He has two dogs and three grand dogs, he jokes.
“This is a beautiful place for dogs,” he said watching his 10-year-old Labrador retriever Maggie try to catch fish in the lake.
The entire lake will be weeded at the beginning of July. The weeding cannot be done sooner because it would disrupt the bass population.
A wheelchair accessible table, garbage can and bag dispenser are also in the dog area of the park. A dog exercise area is fenced.
“People need to be responsible and pick up after their dogs,” said Seaton, explaining the more responsible people are with their pets the more places will become available for pets to be. “I always have a bag in my pocket.”
The Sooke School District banned pets on all school fields due to feces being left on the field and tracked into schools. The district found youth sports organizations were forced to clean fields prior to games and practices.
Langford bylaw officers have been known to stop dog owners and ask if they are carrying bags. There is no enforcement if they don’t have a bag, but owners can be fined for not picking up after pets.
The new park is the only area on the West Shore designated for dogs.
Langford and Colwood have been in discussions about collaborating on a dog park on Ministry of Transportation land near David Cameron elementary school. The ministry offered land for a dog park but requires approval from both municipalities.
At Colwood Creek Park there are designated off-leash areas, but it is not deemed a dog park.
“We have various areas that allow dogs,” said Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton. “We are considering this dog park but there are costs to be incurred and details to work out.”
A ravine with water running through it is one concern cited by Colwood council.
“There may be a way we can fence that area off and make it out of bounds and still allow people and pets,” Hamilton explained.
Seaton said the Colwood park would cost about $15,000 to build and volunteers have been secured for work including broom removal and helping with fencing.
“There are so many dog owners living in condos now, they need a place for their dogs to run,” Seaton said. “Dogs love to socialize with other dogs.”
Glen Lake Park rises from the swamp
What was once a flooded swamp has been raised up about two meters and transformed into a field and a rain garden.
There is a playground, sandy beach, a swimming dock and an accessible fishing dock.
Washrooms, a water bottle tap and outdoor shower are also available.
Dogs are not permitted on the field or children’s beach starting June 15 and throughout the summer.
The park renovations were paid for with a $384,000 grant awarded to Langford in 2012 by the provincial government and the city chipped in $60,000.
Did you know?
Glen Lake has always had a bit of an issue with a large Canada Goose population and the addition of the dog exercise area may deter the birds from making nests nearby explained Jane Waters, Langford parks planner.