Seaview Park after Africville Event September 25, 2011, a set on Flickr.
Dear John Charles,
Real Property Planning
City of Halifax
On more than one occasion in the very recent past, Seaview Park has been unavailable for offleash dog use because of ceremonies for former Africville residents.
This past Sunday the ceremony looked beautiful and moving in news stories, but what happened afterward was anything but.
Number one - dog owners had no notice that this ceremony was going to be happening - so they would have been showing up all day to a sign that said they had to go elsewhere to exercise their dog - and some people come from quite a distance away - I myself come from almost 1/2 an hour away.
Luckily I showed up at 5:45pm - so you'd think I would have been safe - the sign at the park entrance said that there were to be no dogs there from 12 to 5pm - but when I went in - there were cars drivinng around inside the off-leash section of the park, there was a gate to the road open - one of my own dogs almost ran out into the road - I was horrified.
Here is a link to my flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/dogkisser/sets/72157627637524067/
where you can see photos of the cars driving around the park and the open gate.
At the end point - around 6:45pm I couldn't take it any longer and decided to leave and leashed my dogs up and started walking out - on the gravel paths that everyone walks on - and was almost run over by a red bmw that had decided that the paths at Seaview are actually roads to be driven on. I was horrified - and terrified that me and my dogs were going to be run over.
This is an unacceptable situation. Especially if it's going to continue.
Dogs and cars inside Seaview park cannot co-exist. Period.
Either the Africville Society has to accept that Seaview Park is an offleash dog park - or the city has to find another spot to give TAX-PAYING dog owners of the Halifax Regional Municipality another spot to have a fully fenced in dog park of the style that Seaview Park is.
There can be no compromise.
It has to be one or the other.
Either dog owners keep Seaview -or the city finds dog owners another place to go.
There are only two official off leash dog parks in the whole of the HRM - Point Pleasant Park and Seaview Park - every other spot is either only a sports field or is a "pilot" off leash park area that could be closed down in 48 hours - and none of them are completely fenced in as far as I know.
I have always thought it was a travesty to have an offleash dog park in such a place as Africville anyway - who ever made that decision, I'll never know.
There are so many other places that could easily accomodate a fully fenced in dog park - Upper Seaview for one - could be easily fenced in.
The situation as it currently is at Seaview Park is completely untenable and needs to be dealt with. I have a friend who was there at 7:30pm and had the exact same experience - so it went on late into the night on Sunday night.
These types of encounters between disgruntled former Africville residents and offleash dog owners is only going to continue and intensify in my opinion. I only hope nobody gets hurt.
Advocates for Responsible Pet Ownership (ARPO)