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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Elmira off-leash dog park set for its official opening on June 7

The party may not be off the hook, but the dogs will be off the leash at the official launch of a new park in Elmira.

The Elmira off-leash dog park grand “o-paw-ning” is scheduled for tomorrow evening (Friday).

Michelle Hilborn, program coordinator at the Township of Woolwich, said the completion of the project has been a long time coming.

“This park has been in the works for a very long time, so it’s good to see it come to fruition for everybody,” said Hilborn. “It’s something that’s been a labour of love – not just from my end, I’ve been the staff support with this since 2015 – but definitely, there are a couple of members of the group that have been trying to get this going for around seven years now. So they’re super excited.”

The space is set up near the 1st Elmira Scouts meeting place at 75 Oriole Pkwy. E. It is fenced in and just under an acre large; there are trees and shading to provide a cooler atmosphere during the warmer months.

“It’s close enough to town, but not all the way out in the country. … It’s still got that nice, quiet sense to it,” said Hilborn of the location.

In addition, there are Sutera dog waste receptacles featured at the location. After a successful pilot project in Waterloo in 2017, these types of containers are more frequently implemented at local dog parks. The unique, easy-to-use invention transforms canine waste into renewable energy and fertilizer.

Parking is available at 96 Southfield Dr., so as not to crowd the Scout house. If all the parking spots are filled up, it is acceptable to park on the road while keeping other drivers in mind, she noted.

For Friday’s event, there are dog-themed grab bags available for the first 50 families that show up.

This is not a new endeavour for the township; two years ago, in July 2017, the “Woofwich” dog park volunteer committee opened up an off-leash dog park in St. Jacobs at 65 Water St. Hilborn described it as the first step in getting dog parks formalized in Woolwich.

“We were able to open that one first because we didn’t have any funding needs, really, other than signage to go up,” she said. “Because it was just off the edge of the trail and it was property that the township-owned, so it was pretty easy and seamless.

“That park has naturalized fencing which basically means that there isn’t fencing – it’s all tree line. We had established that park with the intention that we were going to have another park opening that is fully fenced in Elmira.”

The Elmira location was a little more costly, as there needed to be fences, signage, and potential amenities considered to move forward with the project. However, Elmira Pet Products was willing to provide full funding for the dog park.

The grand opening will take place at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow (June 7), with everyone and his/her dog welcome to attend.

Veronica Reiner
Veronica Reinerhttp://www.observerxtra.com
Veronica Reiner is a Reporter Photographer for The Observer.

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