OPINION: I've been following with interest the debate concerning the proposal to create a dog park on the recreation reserve bounded by Balmoral Dr, Ness and Crinan streets and Elles Rd.
I'm not against a dog park as such; I'm simply opposed to its proposed siting on such a beautiful reserve.
This is one of the best parks in my area of town, a stunning combination of open green spaces and different tree plantings - it is much more than your average playing field with trees at the ends.
I usually walk down the centre of the park and often pass others also enjoying the surrounding beauty and peacefulness. City parks manager Robin Pagan and his team are to be congratulated for their terrific work in creating and maintaining this wonderful facility.
The proposed dog park effectively "fences off" the northern 60 per cent of the reserve. This will mean that many people will be deprived of being able to walk down the middle of the park through the trees.
The proposal also makes provision at the southern end of the reserve for a "future fun-agility area" which presumably provides for the expansion of the dog park.
The proposal is being promoted by South Alive, an organisation which has on several occasions been referred to in stories in your paper as "a community group charged with rejuvenating south Invercargill". A dog park could be called many things, but good urban rejuvenation policy wouldn't be one of them.
I note that South Alive is to get most of this year's urban rejuvenation budget of $300,000. Certainly none of that money should go towards funding a dog park.
If, in fact, a dog park is actually needed, it should be appropriately located and funded by council from the general rates take.
- The Southland Times
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