Fundraising begins to upgrade Abbotsford dog park

Community members organize efforts to improve park on Gladwin Road

Dogs enjoy the off-leash dog park off of Gladwin Road

Dogs enjoy the off-leash dog park off of Gladwin Road

Dog owners in Abbotsford are being encouraged to assist two community members who are working towards upgrading an existing dog park.

Kendall De Menech, who runs a hydrotherapy program for dogs called K9H2O, and Liza Whiteside, owner of the new Bosley’s Pet Food Plus on Whatcom Road, are starting fundraising efforts to improve an existing two-acre, off-leash dog park located between Okanagan Drive and Haida Drive, off Gladwin Road.

They hope to improve several aspects of the park, including adding fencing around the site, creating a specific area for small dogs, an activity field, and a covered shelter for owners.

De Menech said the park is next to the Discovery Trail, which is frequented by joggers, cyclists and people of all ages. She said a fence would increase safety for both the dogs and the people who use the area.

“If a dog gets in trouble because it gets overly excited because a jogger is going by, it’s not fair to the jogger and its not fair to the dog.”

De Menech said she wants it to be a park that is safe and enjoyable for all who use it.

“I would like to see this be a destination location for dog owners … it’s not just going to be a field with a fence around it.”

De Menech lives near to the park and often chats with other dog owners about the proposed plans. She said they are hoping for community support and engagement as the project moves forward.

De Menech and Whiteside have been working with and receiving guidance from the city’s parks and recreation department, which De Menech said has been “excellent.”

They could wait for the city to put a fence in the park, but decided to take a more active role in fundraising to get the project accomplished sooner. De Menech said they hope to make the process fun and bring together the dog-owning community, representing the needs and desires of dog owners while planning the project.

Input, donations and volunteers are welcome.

Whiteside said there will be monthly fundraisers at Bosley’s, with the first on April 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will allow community members to learn more about the plan and will include a number of fundraising efforts. Owners can have photographs of their pet taken, with the proceeds going to the park, and there will be vendors with samples for pets, a hot dog sale and raffles.

They will be holding a fundraiser at Glen Bar & Grill, located at the Fraser Glen Golf Course on South Parallel Road, on July 27 and hoping to hold a public forum at the park later in June.

De Menech can be contacted at 604-864-2284 or by email at k9h2o@shaw.ca for anyone interesting in donating, volunteering or providing input.

“Our goal is to really bring together the dog community and say let’s have some fun together.”