Off-leash, fenced off area proposed for Chief Whitecap Park

Watch above: Saskatoon city council and the RM of Corman Park want dog owners to leash their pets at Chief Whitecap Park because of recent attacks. Joel Senick finds out what concerns park users have and whether a simple solution can be found.

SASKATOON – A new design plan for Chief Whitecap Park contains a fenced off dog park that is expected to be constructed in 2016. The details were unveiled at a public open house Wednesday by the City of Saskatoon and the Meewasin Valley Authority.

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“We just want a safe area both for the non dog walkers and the dog walkers,” said Brad Babyak, the City of Saskatoon’s integrated facilities supervisor.

The fenced off area will be built in two phases, both of which cover roughly 40 acres. When both phases are complete, the area will be roughly 80 acres.

“That’s two times the size of Kinsmen Park,” said Babyak.

“That’s a fairly large, significant area; even though it’s fenced, you probably won’t even realize it’s fenced.”

News of a possible enclosed area was not received well by Wendi Stoeber, who was walking her dogs in the park Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s lovely out here, there’s lots of space for them to run, we have access to the river,” said Stoeber.

“I think it would be a huge loss, but I guess we have to go with what they say,” she added in regards to the proposed fenced area.

The park’s initial master design plan was put forth in 2010. Other changes unveiled Wednesday include an extra proposed parking lot and the relocation of the Meewasin Trail to the top of the bank, instead of the eastern portion of the park.

READ MORE: Who should pay for dog complaint investigations at Chief Whitecap Park

Another change came around the area of law enforcement. The City of Saskatoon’s Animal Control Agency will enforce its by-laws at the site. Previously the RM of Corman Park imposed the law at the park, even though the majority of its users are from Saskatoon.

The plan still needs to be approved by city council and the RM of Corman Park. Much of the project still depends on future capital budget requests.

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