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Red Deer County councillor wants to explore Springbrook dog park potential

Springbrook residents have shown support for dog park and community hall

A Red Deer County councillor hopes to give a Springbrook dog park project a boost.

Coun. Dana Depalme proposed a notice of motion two weeks ago that will be discussed on Tuesday seeking information on whether there are any suitable dog park locations in the community and what it would cost to build and maintain a park.

Springbrook Community Association president Tariann Bowman said a dog park was identified as a needed amenity in a 2017 county needs assessment.

“This has actually been on the SCA agenda for just over a couple of years now. We’ve been working towards getting a dog park in Springbrook,” said Bowman.

The association previously formed a sub-committee and members were in contact with county staff, who also acknowledged the need for a dog park. But the initiative then seemed to stall.

Bowman is hoping that Depalme’s support and her notice of motion will put the issue back on the front burner.

A report to council by county community services director Jo-Ann Symington says the SCA notified the county in November 2021 it was interested in designing, building and operating a dog park. The county advised the association what was involved in applying for a county grant.

There was also discussion around whether volunteers alone could operate and maintain a dog park. Meanwhile, the county looked at some possible locations and checked with other communities to see what their dog parks were like.

The association has been gathering feedback from the community and submitted an amenity request in April, but has not yet made a formal request, says the report.

The county has a number of grant programs to help pay for community facilities and outdoor amenities. They require significant financial and/or in-kind contributions from the communities and the preparation of a comprehensive feasibility study.

County administration says if Depalme’s notice of motion is approved, a report will be prepared outlining the process to pursue a Springbrook dog park. The report will look at prospective locations, costs, community consultation requirements and legal issues such as liability. Recommendations will also be made on who would own, operate and maintain it.

Staff would outline the best way for the community to pursue a dog park and would also look at developing a process for handling similar requests from other county hamlets.

The report says county staff have the resources to prepare a project work plan report but at this time do not have the resources to put it into action.

It also notes the county has budgeted for a county-wide Community Needs Assessment next year that would look at specific asks from hamlets and rural subdivisions.

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