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Nanaimo’s off-leash areas remain under review

Nanaimo has three permanent off-leash dog parks at Beban Park off Labieux Road, Cable Bay Trail and Westwood Lake Park under the power lines.

One-year pilot off-leash parks opened last year at Colliery Dam Park, Beaufort Park and Diver Lake Park.

Jeff Ritchie, senior manager of parks and civic facilities, said staff are still working through more than 200 surveys received from a Feb. 5 off-leash open house at Beban Park.

The hope is to come forward with recommendations to the parks, recreation and culture commission as to the success of the pilot projects and other locations sometime this month.

“That might be a little optimistic because people are still e-mailing us from the open house,” Ritchie said. “There are a lot of ideas out there and the feedback is both positive and negative.”

Other possible sites for off-leash areas include Invermere Beach off Icarus Drive and Nanaimo school district property near May Bennett-Pioneer Park.

Off-leash hours for the upper dam at Colliery Dam Park are 6-10 a.m. and feedback from the open house indicates dog owners want more.

“It seems mornings are great, but a lot of people work and would like the evenings,” said Ritchie. “It probably won’t be all day, but a possibility could be another off-leash time covering four to eight in the evening. There are lots of options and we’re trying to offer more alternatives for people.”

City of Nanaimo off-leash presentations and survey documents can be found at www.nanaimo.ca.

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