Update to our Members and Off-leash Park Users, from Brenda Leipsic Dog Parkers Inc.

BACKGROUND AND STATUS OF BRENDA LEIPSIC DOG PARK:
This off-leash dog park was built as part of the Southwest BRT project, (beginning January 2017) which is not yet deemed completed. We have had access to the Southern 1 hectare area (since November 29, 2019), while the remaining 6 hectares are being further developed. The City of Winnipeg’s Project Manager and the Parks Department have been waiting for our park to be developed to the specifications agreed to in the BRT contract. They have now made their decision on whether they would take possession of the park from the Developer, it is below.

DECISION FROM THE CITY OF WINNIPEG PARKS DEPARTMENT:
“I wanted to update you on the progress of the north portion of the Brenda Leipsic Dog Park and the status for this upcoming fall. As you can imagine, this year was difficult to grow grass from seed with the lack of precipitation. While the turf appears to be green from the other side of the fence and the contractor has made some strides to improve the north portion, deficiencies are still notable: Weeds are still present in the turfgrass stand. Once the weeds are addressed, voids will become present and require seeding.Germination of new seedlings is present, however, they are still immature and need to be established before foot and paw traffic. Our concern is that the newly germinated seed will be ripped or torn out from the soil. Leaving bare areas that will eventually turn to mud.If this area was opened to the public, many of the newly germinated seedlings would not survive to overwinter due to ice formation from compacted snow, leaving those areas void.With drought conditions, the soil surface has cracked and left many ankle breakers towards the NE portion of the dog park. Based on the information above and my professional recommendation, the BLDP north portion will not be ready for acceptance this upcoming fall of 2021. I’m concerned that if we open the north portion of the park to the public before it is ready, it will only be a matter of time until it looks like the south portion. I know how disappointed the public will be, Parks Services is just as disappointed. I feel that if the contractor takes advantage of this upcoming fall, winter and Spring 2022, I believe it should be ready for acceptance by June 2022. The CoW will continue to provide recommendations and feedback to the contractor to help them along with their process.”

RESPONSE FROM BRENDA LEIPSIC DOG PARKERS INC.:
Hello everyone, we are very disappointed to hear of the decision to not open the North portion of the park for Fall 2021, which will have been a 2 year delay from the initial expected opening of October 2019. We appreciate that there have been some challenges regarding the quality of landscaping that was included in the initial park plan. After some further discussion with our Board and dog park users, I have to present some concerns/observations on their behalf.If weeds, voids, bare areas that turn to mud, cracked soil (ankle breakers) are a large concern then should we look at how all those examples are addressed in the other parks? Generally they aren’t, so we ask you, should we be holding out on the development of this park just to reach the standard that you are requiring of the contractor? This is not a golf course or a static park that gets little or no wear. It will have people and dogs walking on it 365 days a year, during all kinds of weather. The realistic expectation is that there will need to be tweaks to the landscaping as we use the park and discover which are the areas that get extra wear from traffic, and which areas fail to thrive because they are more exposed to the elements. Some spots are higher and drier, some are low and will collect water.We all know from experience in the other dog parks that just grass as a ground cover is not sustainable, that the result of wear and tear/ drastic weather /little annual maintenance (spraying for weeds or seeding more grass) means that there needs to be alternate solutions. So we are not understanding why after the additional two years long delay, while literally watching the grass grow, we are still not allowed access to the park. We understand that your concern is that if you “accept” the park as complete that any further expenses will have to be incurred by the City. We are asking that you consider the percentage of areas that DO reach the standard you have set and measure that against the amount of recreation that the entire park would provide. This is a much needed amenity and as much as we appreciate the desire to have it established sufficiently to be acceptable to your ideal, we ask that you recognize that that ideal may be a short-sighted goal. So if we have to wait years for it to be in a final acceptable state, that seems a waste of valuable recreation area, especially now when we are facing another winter of Covid restrictions. We ask that you consider the greater good and let us help to develop this park by using it.A main concern of our group during planning was adequate drainage and we are wondering about plans to address any issues, since as dog owners, we know that even the most perfectly grown, thatched, densely planted grass can also become a mudpit if there is not proper drainage. The main drainage concern we noted during this first year of use in the area we are using and what we have observed outside our designated area, is that there is a buildup of water due to lack of flow along the Water and Waste fence on the West side and there are some low spots on the graveled path. None of our dog park Board members are professional landscapers but it is clear these concerns should be able to be remedied by just adjusting the level in the ditches. The land that has been moved during construction will still be settling and the weather over these past two years which gave us extreme wet and then extreme dry is maybe not sufficient to bring it all to its final result. We have already had the discussion about potential solutions to the problem of land settling along the South East fence, and causing gaps at the bottom like placing boulders along the outside.We understand from our use of other parks in the City that there will be constant upkeep required and we expect that like other parks we will have a strong group of volunteers that will help keep it clean and help address any other maintenance issues (like spot checking daily and spreading wood chips on wet or worn patches or spreading sand on icy patches). We are asking that you let us access the larger area of the park, in anticipation that we will have greater concerns than whether the grass cover is spotty, like adding landscaping that will sufficiently withstand the equipment required when emptying the garbage bins, and addressing possible alternate remedies for the trouble spots, like wood chips or sturdier ground cover, like clover. There was some discussion about requesting the developer to move the fencing to new sections while they did spot treatments, (so we don’t need to worry about equipment and dogs mixing) to complete the remainder of the landscaping. Please strongly consider this option, that while slightly more complicated, seems a fair compromise. With the goal of having a successful outcome, we suggest that it may be possible to allow us to use the better established areas and we could have the added advantage of being able to identify high use areas, modifying things as needed while the developers are still on site, and rehabilitating the South portion. Call it a dynamic test! There needs to be some balance that will benefit us all!

Fundraising with the KIN KAR Raffle

Your chance to do 3 great things at once!! BUY a ticket, help RAISE money for both our Brenda Leipsic Dog Park Inc. group and the Kinsmen. You could WIN a new vehicle or take the $30,000 cash instead!!

Tickets are $10 each, 3 for $20 or 10 for $50. Half of the ticket price goes to fundraise for BLDP Inc. to aid in purchasing amenities for our park. Buy your tickets here http://www.fundingchange.ca/wpgkinsmen/YAEF2OKj7ikvD8_o/YFoMTGmYnH2yBra-

Chairs Message – December 2017

It has been 8 months since I provided you an update on the Brenda Leipsic Dog Park activities so this message is overdue! I would like to share with you three items of interest.

The first item is the status of our redeveloped dog park. The Board has been diligently working with the City of Winnipeg on the design and amenities that will make Brenda Leipsic Dog Park the envy of all dog parkers. The “60% design” has been completed by the landscape architects and the Board had an opportunity to provide comments. On October 18, the Board submitted 32 comments on the design that are now being considered by the City. We will continue to work with the City as the design gets refined. The next version of the design will be available to the public for input in the spring of 2018. The City has confirmed that the redeveloped dog park will be ready for use by November 1, 2019.

The second item to report on is the status of a temporary dog park. As many already know, the construction of the Hurst extension and Georgina St. is now complete and in service. GEM has started the residential development in the forested area and the majority of the trees have been removed. Unfortunately that has left us without a dog park to walk our four legged friends. The good news is that the City and Manitoba Hydro are working to establish a 3.5 acre temporary dog park in very close proximity to Brenda Leipsic Dog Park that we will be able to use until November 1, 2019. More details to follow!

The third item is related to the City of Winnipeg Dog Park Master Plan. The consultation process continues until December 21 and I would encourage you to participate. The goal is to develop a plan that the City will use to guide future dog park developments. I am confident that this is a worthwhile effort and will increase the quantity and quality of off-leash dog parks in the City. Your input is crucial so please participate by checking out the City PROJECT WEBPAGE.

Lastly, are you stumped on what to buy yourself or a friend(s) for the upcoming holiday season? If you are, remember that a membership to Brenda Leipsic Dog Park is always appreciated (plus it only costs $5.00!). Click HERE to make it happen.

All the best for the upcoming holiday season!

Dan McInnis – Chair BLDP Inc.
mcinnis.dan@gmail.com

Chair’s Message – April 2017

It seems that winter may be taking a little longer to leave us this year but hopefully by the time you read this spring will be out in full force! I would like to share with you the latest updates.

Our Annual General Meeting was a great success and we said adieu to Kristy Slough and welcomed Steve Douglas to the Board. We are very lucky to have a strong and dedicated Board that keeps working to look out for the interests of the users of Brenda Leipsic Dog Park. That is not to say we would not welcome others who would like to join the Board! If you feel the urge to volunteer a little of your time we would be glad to appoint you to a vacant Director position. It is rewarding work on a great cause. Contact us through the website if this is something of interest to you.

Attendees at the Annual General Meeting also benefitted from the presentation of Kas Zurek of the City of Winnipeg on the stormwater retention basin project that is just starting at the east end of the Parker lands. Thanks for Kas and Ray Offman from KGS Group for taking the time to join us on a Saturday afternoon. If you were unable to attend the AGM, information on this project can be found at the LINK.

The other item from the Annual General Meeting that I would like to share is the change to the membership dues. The dues have been reduced from $10 to $5 per year. The membership year remains unchanged and begins on October 1 of each year. For those folks who paid the $10 membership prior to the AGM, your membership will be extended to September 30, 2018. This was done in order to increase membership and be consistent with the membership dues at other dog parks in the City.

Work on the Bus Rapid Transit Project (and our redeveloped dog park) will be starting up again shortly. Our existing parking lot will be relocated to the north to allow for the extension of Hurst Ave to happen and to allow us access to the forested area to walk our dogs. There may be a few days during the next few months where we will be unable to access the parking lot due to construction activities – PLEASE be safe and avoid any conflicts with the construction equipment.

This summer we will also begin reviewing the design for the new dog park! Plenary Roads (the company that is designing and building the new bus rapid transitway) is also required to design and build our redeveloped dog park. A functional design will be completed over the summer months and the Board looks forward to sharing the design with you and seeking feedback. Expect that to occur in the fall of 2017. We are still on track to see construction completed by the fall of 2019.

I hope the temporary dog park area will dry up shortly and we will see each other soon!

Dan McInnis Chair

Annual General Meeting Announcement!

AAgenda:

1. Welcome and Call to Order

2. Approval of 2015 AGM minutes

3. Reports
a) Chair Report (Suz Shiells)
b) Financial (Dan McInnis)
c) Membership Report ( Andrea Szwajcer)

4. Changing of bylaws
5.4 Delete “director of stewardship” and the s from Director of Event (s) and add two members at large. Hopefully this will attract members to join the board less formally.
11.4 Change registered office to “The Registered Office for the Organization may be established or changed by Ordinary resolution of the Board of Directors.” so that it does not need to change every time there is a board change.

5. Nomination and Election of officers for 2016/2017
a) Slate of Nominees
b) Nominations from the Floor
c) Elections of Officers
Chair
Vice Chair
Secretary
Treasurer
Director of Communications
Director of Marketing
Director of Events
Director of Membership
Member at Large (2)

6. Suggestions for the2016

7. Adjournment

At this point for anyone who would like to stay there will be a discussion about the future of the park. It will include information about the Phases of Development for Rapid Transit and the future Brenda Leipsic Dog Park

2015 Year End Financials

Our letter to the City of Winnipeg

bigstock-Mail-Dog-34566944On March 9th, 2016 Brenda Leipsic Dog Parkers Board sent the below letter to the city of Winnipeg:

On behalf of all our members, the Board of Brenda Leipsic Dog Parkers Inc. would like to express our appreciation for the recent steps in establishing off-leash dog parks in Winnipeg.

The benefits of dog parks are numerous – a strengthened sense of community, promotes responsible pet ownership, enhanced green space and the social and physical wellbeing of the dog park users. The redevelopment of the Brenda Leipsic Dog Park as part of the Bus Rapid Transit Project (slated to open in 2019), the inclusion of dog park facilities in the predesign of the William Clement Expressway and the establishment of a downtown neighbourhood dog park are all positive steps towards a sustainable dog park infrastructure for the betterment of all Winnipeggers. Continue reading Our letter to the City of Winnipeg

From the Archives – BLDP’s Birthday!

Puppies-Singing-Happy-Birthday-7668762

Did you know when BLDP first became a dog park? Read the below press release! 

WINNIPEG – October 5, 2007 – The City’s first off-leash dog park in River Heights/Fort Garry Ward was officially opened today at the corner of Hurst Way and Parker Avenue

Twelve sites have been selected in Winnipeg parks and public spaces where dog owners can let their pets socialize and exercise off-leash in a safe environment.

Continue reading From the Archives – BLDP’s Birthday!

Important Updates

Phase 1 of the Bus Rapid Transit is starting. Important information regarding parking, and relocation of the BLDP:

  • GEM Equities has graciously agreed to allow our members and all other users of the park to use their property (otherwise known as the Forest) located to the north of the Winnipeg Humane Society, during construction and until such time as they start development of the land. See the picture of the sign and aerial photo of park below for location.

    bldp2
    Phase 1 and Phase 2 access to Temporary BLDP site: Phase 1 (the blue line) is the access from Hurst for dog parkers – in effect January 2016 to July 2016. Phase 2 is in black (with 24 parking stalls) access with parking lot to be available sometime after July 2016.
  • There will be fencing that will close off access of the forest from the field that houses the Manitoba Hydro towers — see next point
  • Manitoba Hydro will be putting up the fences will be going up this week (January 21, 2016)
    • Fencing will be placed where the paths in the wooded area meet the open area – please ask everyone (and their dogs) to respect the fencing for their own safety. Keep to the paths in the forest

  • Manitoba Hydro new tower placement will start February 1, 2016
    • Towers will start to be delivered on February 17, 2016 and temporarily be placed along the fenced field
    • There will be a lot of vehicles and equipment moving around and construction trailers will be parked just east of the existing dog park
    • Contract is slated to be finished July 1, 2016

  • City of Winnipeg will be putting up a sign stating the Dog Park is closed; this refers to the “legal” dog park and does not refer to our temporary relocation to the Forest. There will be another sign from the City of Winnipeg to located near the “Closed” sign redirecting people to the temporary, Forest location. See a picture of this sign below.
  • The Community Bulletin Board will be removed this week and placed in storage. The cards, lost and found was collected by our Treasurer Dan McInnis. All lost items will be kept for 1 month and then discarded or donated. Please send an email to brendaleipsicdogparkers@gmail.comif there are any items of yours that may have been on the Bulletin Board.
  • Phase 1 Temporary Parking of Dog Parkers – see the captioned image above. Access from Parker will be for construction; access for Dog Parkers will be from Hurst. This access will be from now until 2019.The area marked 24 parking stalls is the phase 2 parking
    • The phase 2 parking will be developed by the City of Winnipeg. This is anticipated sometime after July 1, 2016.

bldp
This will be the temporary relocation sign designed and created by the City of Winnipeg to be posted near the official Closed sign.

The Board will endeavor to keep our website and Facebook page as up to date as possible to alert members and non-members alike. With the Bulletin Board to be unavailable for the foreseeable future, digital communication becomes primary. Please encourage everyone to either subscribe to our Facebook and/or Twitter feeds.

Annual General Meeting of the Brenda Leipsic Dog Parkers Inc. – official call:
BLDP Inc. is combining Spring Clean Up (of the Forest) and the Annual General Meeting together! Be sure to save the date for April 16, 2016. Time, location of AGM and agenda will be forthcoming. There will be much to discuss and report including a WinDog summary, new BLDP park planning and more information regarding construction developments.