By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
The dogs will be let out again.
Two and a half years after Warren Park’s leash free running area was revoked, the City of Hamilton plans to open Dundas’ first fenced leash free dog park.
A two-acre site west of the intersection of York and Valley Road – known as Hopkins Corners – combining city-owned property behind a water pumping station and unused Hamilton Conservation Authority property, will be fenced-in by the city to create the zone.
Dundas councillor Russ Powers has been searching for a replacement area that meets the city’s criteria for a leash free area since the summer of 2010.
Chris Firth-Eagland, chief administrator of the Hamilton Conservation Authority, said this piece of property in rural Dundas’ Pleasantview community provides the best possible location for a leash free area.
“It’s not an environmentally sensitive area. It’s a mowed lawn on a hill,” Firth-Eagland said. “There’s parking nearby and trails. People can leash their dogs and walk the trails.”
He noted all dogs are required to be leashed when they’re not inside the fenced zone.
Firth-Eagland said the HCA will lease part of the site to the city at the rate of $2 a year, but no money will actually change hands.
Kara Bunn of the city’s park operations department said the city will provide fencing and a gate, cut the grass inside the fenced running area, provide garbage containers and remove trash from the containers.
If a user group wants to form and fundraise to provide extra amenities within the fenced area – such as benches – that is up to them.
Users of the running area are also responsible for cleaning up after their dogs, and following a list of rules posted on the city’s website.
“We’d like to have it done as soon as possible,” Bunn said.
Firth-Eagland said the goal is to have the zone fencing up and the area available for use by the late spring.
“It’s the best site that could be found,” he said.
They both acknowledged the new fenced dog park is a replacement for the Warren Park running area.
“This is different because it will be fenced,” Bunn said.
The Hopkins Corners Leash Free Dog Park, as the conservation authority calls it, will become the fourth in Hamilton - joining the SPCA park on Dartnell Road, Hill Street Park near Dundurn Street South and Birch Avenue behind the city’s Wentworth Street operations building.
The city also has three unfenced free running areas, including two in Dundas, at Little John Park and Chegwin Park, plus Cinema Park on Golf Links Road in Ancaster.