Would you like a new Dog Park?

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Opportunity for a new dog park in Niddrie/Essendon West

Moonee Valley City Council has an opportunity to apply for the Victorian Government’s New Dog Parks Program. This Program is establishing new off-leash dog parks in built-up urban areas across metropolitan Melbourne. The program aims to provide dedicated, local areas for people to connect with others and exercise their dogs.

Generally, Moonee Valley has supported multi-use open spaces, rather than dedicated single use spaces. As such, we currently provide a number of dog off-leash areas that are not fenced exclusively for dog owners. This reflects the limited open space that we have and the various needs of many different users of our parks.

However, with growing rates of dog ownership and requests for fenced dog parks, this opportunity is one that Council would like to consider.

If we are successful in our grant application to the State Government, it would be used to establish a second fully fenced off leash dog park for Moonee Valley, besides the Alf Pearce Dog Park in Strathmore (pictured above).

We are seeking your input on two possible sites, which will inform our grant application.

We have identified Niddrie/Essendon West as a suitable neighbourhood and seek your input on two possible locations, to help inform our grant application.

If there is insufficient support for a fully fenced off leash dog park in Essendon West, Council will consider applying for funds to improve existing unfenced dog off leash areas in other parks.


Why Niddrie/Essendon West?

Sites for the New Dog Park Program must be located in an area of high community need. To determine to most appropriate site, we have investigated many factors and criteria:

  • We know Essendon, Moonee Ponds and Keilor East have the highest rate of dog registrations. We want to make sure a new dog park is central to these suburbs.
  • A central location that could effectively service these 3 suburbs (Essendon, Moonee Ponds and Keilor East) is what Council refer to as the “Niddrie/Essendon West neighbourhood.”
  • This neighbourhood is suitability distant from the one other fully fenced off leash dog park in our municipality, located at Alf Pearce Reserve in Strathmore.
  • Sites for the New Dog Park Program need to have been demonstrated as a site that Council has considered before the grant program commenced. A Dog Park Feasibility Study was carried out in Moonee Valley five years ago. It’s first recommendation for a site to build a fully fenced off leash dog park was Alf Pearce Reserve in Strathmore. Council has since constructed that dog park.
  • The second recommendation was either Cliff Whitworth Reserve or Ian J McWilliams Park, in Essendon West.


Other site considerations include:

  • Sites are to be large enough for dogs to safely run around. Council’s feasibility study identified the two Essendon West sites as suitable as medium sized dog park facilities. Although even larger sites are preferred by the New Dog Park Program, Moonee Valley has limited locations where a larger park could be suitably accommodated.
  • The impact of transforming either of these sites into a fully fenced off leash dog park, would result in displacing other park users. In both of the Essendon West sites, there are a number of other parks in close proximity, such as Garnett Reserve and Neil Heinze Reserve.
  • The two potential Essendon West sites meet the state government’s criteria for safety and access given there is good passive surveillance from nearby houses and the sites are close to a shared path trail (Steele Creek). It is noted that the creation of a fully fenced off leash dog park would likely lead to additional cars parking in local streets.
  • Cliff Whitworth Reserve has two road frontages, resulting in good visibility across the site and opportunities for separate (opposing) park entrances. Ian J McWilliams Park has one road frontage.
  • Both sites contain seating and drinking fountains but no other facilities.

Expected Design Outcomes

  • The whole park is likely to be enclosed by a 1.2/1.5m high fence.
  • Similarly to Alf Pearce Dog Park in Strathmore, the surfacing would likely be a fine granitic sand. Enclosed dog parks generally have a high usage which makes it difficult to establish and maintain grassing, particularly for small or medium scale dog parks.
  • Similarly to Alf Pearce Dog Park, the design for the park would likely include additional seating, dog drinking bowl, dog bag dispensers, multiple double gated entries, bins, separate small dog area, feature rockwork and logs, tree plantings and potentially custom agility training equipment.


Benefits of a fenced off leash dog park

Fenced dog parks provide great opportunities for dog owners to take their dogs to a dedicated safe area to exercise and socialise. Dog parks provide stimulation for dogs through interaction with natural elements and other dogs. Appropriate socialisation and stimulation can decrease animal behaviour problems by preventing boredom and subsequent destructive behaviours in dogs.

Dog parks include a variety of elements and obstacles that aim to challenge dogs and expose them to new and sometime daunting encounters to increase their resilience and confidence. This includes rockwork, specifically design agility equipment, mesh steps and different surfaces.

However, dog parks also provide a social setting for interaction between dog owners. They have proven to provide an essential option for our elderly residents in particular, providing a safe enclosed space to exercise their dogs when they may experience difficulties walking them.

Dog parks create important opportunities for our community to meet and socialise, creating greater community connections, and in turn potentially reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.


Consultation

  • Based on the above, we are seeking your input on the two proposed sites in Essendon West, to inform a grant application.
  • You can provide feedback by midday Friday, 7 August 2020 in the following ways:
  • In order for Council to be compliant with the current COVID restrictions, we are unable to conduct face to face consultation on site.

Opportunity for a new dog park in Niddrie/Essendon West

Moonee Valley City Council has an opportunity to apply for the Victorian Government’s New Dog Parks Program. This Program is establishing new off-leash dog parks in built-up urban areas across metropolitan Melbourne. The program aims to provide dedicated, local areas for people to connect with others and exercise their dogs.

Generally, Moonee Valley has supported multi-use open spaces, rather than dedicated single use spaces. As such, we currently provide a number of dog off-leash areas that are not fenced exclusively for dog owners. This reflects the limited open space that we have and the various needs of many different users of our parks.

However, with growing rates of dog ownership and requests for fenced dog parks, this opportunity is one that Council would like to consider.

If we are successful in our grant application to the State Government, it would be used to establish a second fully fenced off leash dog park for Moonee Valley, besides the Alf Pearce Dog Park in Strathmore (pictured above).

We are seeking your input on two possible sites, which will inform our grant application.

We have identified Niddrie/Essendon West as a suitable neighbourhood and seek your input on two possible locations, to help inform our grant application.

If there is insufficient support for a fully fenced off leash dog park in Essendon West, Council will consider applying for funds to improve existing unfenced dog off leash areas in other parks.


Why Niddrie/Essendon West?

Sites for the New Dog Park Program must be located in an area of high community need. To determine to most appropriate site, we have investigated many factors and criteria:

  • We know Essendon, Moonee Ponds and Keilor East have the highest rate of dog registrations. We want to make sure a new dog park is central to these suburbs.
  • A central location that could effectively service these 3 suburbs (Essendon, Moonee Ponds and Keilor East) is what Council refer to as the “Niddrie/Essendon West neighbourhood.”
  • This neighbourhood is suitability distant from the one other fully fenced off leash dog park in our municipality, located at Alf Pearce Reserve in Strathmore.
  • Sites for the New Dog Park Program need to have been demonstrated as a site that Council has considered before the grant program commenced. A Dog Park Feasibility Study was carried out in Moonee Valley five years ago. It’s first recommendation for a site to build a fully fenced off leash dog park was Alf Pearce Reserve in Strathmore. Council has since constructed that dog park.
  • The second recommendation was either Cliff Whitworth Reserve or Ian J McWilliams Park, in Essendon West.


Other site considerations include:

  • Sites are to be large enough for dogs to safely run around. Council’s feasibility study identified the two Essendon West sites as suitable as medium sized dog park facilities. Although even larger sites are preferred by the New Dog Park Program, Moonee Valley has limited locations where a larger park could be suitably accommodated.
  • The impact of transforming either of these sites into a fully fenced off leash dog park, would result in displacing other park users. In both of the Essendon West sites, there are a number of other parks in close proximity, such as Garnett Reserve and Neil Heinze Reserve.
  • The two potential Essendon West sites meet the state government’s criteria for safety and access given there is good passive surveillance from nearby houses and the sites are close to a shared path trail (Steele Creek). It is noted that the creation of a fully fenced off leash dog park would likely lead to additional cars parking in local streets.
  • Cliff Whitworth Reserve has two road frontages, resulting in good visibility across the site and opportunities for separate (opposing) park entrances. Ian J McWilliams Park has one road frontage.
  • Both sites contain seating and drinking fountains but no other facilities.

Expected Design Outcomes

  • The whole park is likely to be enclosed by a 1.2/1.5m high fence.
  • Similarly to Alf Pearce Dog Park in Strathmore, the surfacing would likely be a fine granitic sand. Enclosed dog parks generally have a high usage which makes it difficult to establish and maintain grassing, particularly for small or medium scale dog parks.
  • Similarly to Alf Pearce Dog Park, the design for the park would likely include additional seating, dog drinking bowl, dog bag dispensers, multiple double gated entries, bins, separate small dog area, feature rockwork and logs, tree plantings and potentially custom agility training equipment.


Benefits of a fenced off leash dog park

Fenced dog parks provide great opportunities for dog owners to take their dogs to a dedicated safe area to exercise and socialise. Dog parks provide stimulation for dogs through interaction with natural elements and other dogs. Appropriate socialisation and stimulation can decrease animal behaviour problems by preventing boredom and subsequent destructive behaviours in dogs.

Dog parks include a variety of elements and obstacles that aim to challenge dogs and expose them to new and sometime daunting encounters to increase their resilience and confidence. This includes rockwork, specifically design agility equipment, mesh steps and different surfaces.

However, dog parks also provide a social setting for interaction between dog owners. They have proven to provide an essential option for our elderly residents in particular, providing a safe enclosed space to exercise their dogs when they may experience difficulties walking them.

Dog parks create important opportunities for our community to meet and socialise, creating greater community connections, and in turn potentially reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.


Consultation

  • Based on the above, we are seeking your input on the two proposed sites in Essendon West, to inform a grant application.
  • You can provide feedback by midday Friday, 7 August 2020 in the following ways:
  • In order for Council to be compliant with the current COVID restrictions, we are unable to conduct face to face consultation on site.
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    We are seeking your input on the two proposed sites in Essendon West, to inform a grant application for opprotunities for a new dog park.


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