Dog park open house

On June 2, the Fernie Pets Society hosted an open house regarding the proposed off-leash dog park in the Ridgemont neighbourhood.

On June 2, the Fernie Pets Society hosted an open house regarding the proposed off-leash dog park in the Ridgemont neighbourhood.

The open house was hosted at the Fernie Seniors Centre from 4 to 8 p.m. and showcased the proposal for the park.

The park would be located at the bottom of Ridgemont Ave., in an area that is currently zoned as city parkland. The park would be approximately 10 acres in size and would incorporate the existing Kootenay Elk Trail into the park. A new trail will be built outside the fenced area, so trail users will not have to travel through the off-leash park.

Currently, the Fernie Pets Society is working on land-use agreements with BC Hydro and the City of Fernie, after which construction of the park can begin.  “We have a land use agreement that is being drafted with the City,” said Pierre DuPont of the Fernie Pets Society.

Construction on the park is expected to take a few years, but DuPont hopes the first phase can be completed this year.

“The first phase that we are looking on doing this year would be developing this bypass trail,” he said. “We have enough money to do the first phase this year. As soon as we can secure enough funding we can continue with the work.”

The park will feature water fountains for both humans and dogs, along with a dog splash park for warmer days and a pavilion shelter. There will also be a separate park for dog training or for smaller dogs.

The project was started in 2011 and was designed by Leslie Lowe of Beargrass Landscape Architecture. DuPont said the construction is ready to begin as soon as the land use agreements are signed.