To the editor:
The Mission Sports Fields on Gordon Road do not resemble a marsh. But before they were built, that’s what they were.
It must have cost the city a great deal to raise the land well above the water table.
Had that not been done, the sports fields might resemble the nearby Mission Dog Park, where pools of water collect each year after a rainfall.
At .72 hectares (about 1.78 acres) the area of Mission Dog Park is barely a fraction of the of the sports fields.
The cost to raise the park above the water table would have been a mere fraction of what it cost to prepare the sports fields.
Although dogs parks are used year round, and sports fields only 45 to 60 days a year, the city did not think the large dog-owning community in Kelowna was worthy of the cost to raise the ground level of a 0.72-hectare field.
The Kelowna Dog Association was founded in September 2011 to address the various concerns of dog owners.
But it was the sorry state of Mission Dog Park in the spring of 2011 that gave birth to the association.
This year, a few improvements were made by the city’s parks department. As well, mounds of wood-chips have been spread over areas that were flooded last spring.
The chips have helped, but they are not a solution to land with a high water table.
Build a house on a swamp, or on wood chips, and no one will buy it or live in it.
Fence a marsh, or an abandoned field, name it a dog park, and dog owners will be so grateful that even annual flooding and general neglect are accepted.
There more than 130 urban parks in Kelowna that ban dogs. Viewed as a swap for six urban off-leash dog parks and three distant ones (Ellison, Glenmore, and Cedar Creek) that are not within residential communities, is it a fair exchange?
In 2012, the average cost to maintain parks per hectare is estimated at $8,130.
The average cost to maintain the nine dog parks is about $2,600 per hectare.
Are dog owners really asking too much if they dare ask for more? So far, the people at Parks Services and the City seem to think so.