Letter: Dog walk and a dip perfect at Cedar Ave.

My dream for Cedar Avenue has always included an on-leash walk and a doggy-dip.

To the editor:

Thank you for publishing Richard Drinnan’s excellent recap of the Cedar Avenue Park dream. [City Has Ulterior Motive for Cedar Ave. Park, Sept. 23 Kelowna Capital News.]

Anyone who has dreams knows how quickly they can turn to nightmares. I don’t expect to be around in 2027 to find out whose dream will come true. It may be an all-green park, or it may be a boutique hotel haven with a paddle club and a small dog beach.

As I’m still here, however, it seems to me that the Cedar Avenue Park dream could still win over boutique hotel and coffee shops. It just needs to adapt a little. The park has already been compromised by the inoffensive presence of the Kelowna Paddle Club. Why could not a small dog beach be welcomed by the city?  There would still be room for a grassy parkland on either side of the dog park. Indeed, if the all-green dream evaporates, there would still be room for that boutique hotel. The Grand Hotel permits guests with dogs and may have influenced the opening of the lake promenades to dogs some 10 years ago. Who is to say that future boutique hotel guests would not welcome a place where their pooches can swim?

In the Sept. 19 Kelowna city council meeting, a parks representative reported that 76 per cent of respondents to the dog park/beach surveys were in favour of dog beaches in the city. Furthermore, the Cedar Avenue site, dangled before council with reservation, received more approval than any of the other four sites.

When will the city acknowledge that the needs of 38 per cent of households who have one or more dogs must be  addressed? An urban off-leash dog park or beach need not look like a wasteland. They could easily fit in well with other neighbourhood parks if the same development and maintenance budget were allotted to them as to, say, sports fields.

I still dare to dream. In any case my dream for Cedar Avenue has always included an on-leash walk and a doggy-dip.

Helen Schiele, Kelowna