Dog park public engagement
Starting in 2016, we launched a public consultation process to inform a long-term dog park management plan. Data obtained from a statistically valid survey, online feedback and discovery sessions held at proposed locations provided insight regarding public opinion to inform decisions regarding off-leash and on-leash areas.
In addition to the off-leash dog park at Cedar Creek, three new off-leash dog beaches are now available to the public:
- Poplar Point Drive beach access located near the entrance to Knox Mountain Park
- Downtown Sails on Bernard Avenue as a cooling off beach
- Lake Avenue beach access on a two-year trial period
Residents were invited to provide feedback on their experience at the dog beach and weigh in at getinvolved.kelowna.ca to help Council make a decision about the long-term future of Lake Avenue beach access as a dog beach. The feedback is currently being reviewed and will be presented to Council in late 2019 or early 2020 to determine long term status of this site as a dog beach.
Cedar Avenue beach access was also considered, and will be brought back to Council after staff further investigate how an off-leash area would work into the comprehensive plans for the Pandosy Waterfront.
Munson Pond Park was reviewed as part of the public engagement but not recommended by City staff due to potential environmental impact.
Community Feedback Discovery Sessions (June-September 2016)
The recommendation for these three off-leash beaches as presented to Council in September 2016, came as a result of a public engagement process which included a statistically valid survey conducted in January 2016. This was followed by community feedback discovery sessions in June 2016 at the five sites identified as potential off-leash locations in the city.
The five proposed locations explored as options for an off-leash dog beach or park included:
- Downtown Sails Plaza for a cooling off opportunity
- Lake Avenue beach access
- North End/North Kelowna
- Poplar Point Drive beach access
- Cedar Avenue beach access
- Munson Pond Park, western field area
Neighbourhood based discovery sessions were hosted with adjacent neighbours and stakeholders for each proposed area, along with a community wide session for residents to provide feedback regarding all five proposed locations. A total of 150 exit surveys were collected from local residents and stakeholders at the open house discovery sessions at the proposed sites.
Residents were also able to get involved by viewing the information boards and providing feedback online. A total of 247 surveys were submitted online.
View the summarized results from the Off-Leash Dog Beaches and Parks Community Engagement Report.
Statistically Valid Survey (January-March 2016)
The statistically valid survey represented all Kelowna residents and the results contributed to the identification of the five sites considered as potential off-leash locations. Responses are weighted by age, gender and city-wide distribution to accurately reflect Kelowna's population. NRG Research Group conducted the telephone survey from January 28, 2016 until approximately February 4, 2016.
- Determine residents' level of support for off-leash dog parks and/or dog beaches
- Identify residents' tolerance level for off-leash dog parks and/or dog beaches in their neighbourhood
- Identify priority locations for off-leash dog parks and dog beaches
- 38 per cent of Kelowna households have at least one dog
- 52 per cent of residents think that there are enough dog parks; whereas 55 per cent think that more off-leash dog beaches are required
- 52 per cent of dog owners report that their dog(s) rarely or never visit off-leash dog parks for a variety of reasons
- 76 per cent of residents support the creation of a dog park or dog beach in their neighbourhood
- Mission, Glenmore and Rutland were identified as priority areas for future dog parks
- Downtown area, Mission and North End/North Kelowna were identified as priority areas for future dog beaches
View the complete results from the Dog Park Statistically Valid Survey.
Online Feedback (January-February 2016)
The online feedback form was available from January 27 until February 15. There were 1,610 responses with 1,245 completed responses. Majority of the respondents were dog owners (82 per cent).
Online feedback goals:
- Identify appropriate and community accepted dog park criteria (e.g. surface materials and infrastructure)
- Identify benefits and drawbacks of designated off-leash dog parks
- Provide an opportunity for residents to provide feedback or suggestions for dog parks
Online feedback results:
- Socialization and exercise were identified as the main benefits of dog parks
- Safety factor (e.g. aggressive or uncontrolled dogs or owners) was identified as the main drawback of dog parks
- Drinking fountains (for dogs and people), parking and separate area for small dogs were the main infrastructure or dog park amenity priorities
- Turf grass was the number one preference for surface material
- The majority of respondents would be interested in contributing personal resources such as time, monetary or in-kind donation or both
- Common themes that emerged from the open-ended feedback included: location suggestions or requests (e.g. water access, trails and mixed use); park design and amenity suggestions or requests; and concerns about dog parks (e.g. cleanliness/dog waste, enforcement, fines, uncontrolled dogs).
View the complete results from the Online Feedback Form.