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Three more off-leash areas added to Nanaimo parks

Rover just got more room to roam off-leash in Nanaimo.

Three more areas were approved for licensed dogs run, play and explore off-leash.

All three sites were pilot sites in 2011 and proved to be popular, according to the city.

St. George Ravine Park, located in central Nanaimo, was approved as a permanent year-round off-leash park, as was a designated portion of Invermere Beach in the city's north end.

The trails of the upper section of Colliery Dam Park were also designated leash-optional during all park hours.

From next month to May 2013, three more off-leash areas will be tested as pilot sites, including Wardropper park in Departure Bay, Gallows Point on Protection Island, and a one-kilometre loop in forested land adjacent to May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park.

All three sites were selected after extensive consultation with the public.

With the addition of the new pilot sites, Nanaimo dog owners now have 11 off-leash areas to take their furry friends for exercise and socialization. A 12th option will include the rest stop at the Nanaimo Parkway and Northfield Road once the tourist kiosk there is complete.

Off-leash sites in Nanaimo offer a variety of characteristics and amenities, from fenced urban surroundings to wooded trails and natural waterways, and the city says it will continue to achieve a balance between the needs of dogs and their owners with that of people who don't prefer the company of dogs.

The city also wants to remind dog owners that bylaws will be strictly enforced, and that proper and etiquette and regulations will be promoted throughout all local parks and trail systems.

For any information on off-leash areas, dog etiquette and bylaws, please visit www.nanaimo.ca.

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