Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Batting cages, playgrounds and dog parks
Tomorrow night there is a meeting for "summer and fall off-leash uses of the Larry O'Connell ball park". It's going to be at the St. Andrew’s Centre, 6955 Bayers Road.
It is really confusing me - because Larry O'Connell park is ALREADY a sports field that is identified as a sports field approved for offleash use between November 1st and May 1st from 5am to 10pm - so maybe they are discussing expanding it's use so that they can use it for more months of the year? I guess summer and fall would fall outside of November 1st to May 1st.
It's interesting - because this particular park has come under scrutiny in the last couple of months - it is the same park that a batting cage was built with private funds supplied from the Minor Ball Association - and put on public property - without input from the neighbourhood association. And it all played out on the pages of the Chronicle Herald.
Back in September 2009 when "local residents, ball team players, parents and officials, parents of preschool children attending summer programs at the Larry O’Connell Centre and off leash proponents" met to talk about the Robert Drive ball field options before it was CLOSED PERMANENTLY to off leash use - the president of Minor League Baseball Association Mike Curry - who is the author of the letter of the Editor was at the meeting and he said that that his association would NOT rent any field that has any dog use whatsoever. It was not up for discussion - he would not use any field that had at any time had any piss or shit on it.
And I am personally blown away that in the letter he now doesn't seem to care at all about the people living in the neighbourhood when he says "it's owned and operated by the HRM, not the residents" - meaning the ball field - like as if the residents shouldn't have any say in the ball field.
When the Robert Drive ball field was under discussion as an off leash space - the surrounding residents were the #1 priority - and most important were the CHILDREN in the surrounding neighbourhood - and I can bet you that when the meeting comes around tomorrow night - the children of the neighbourhood will once again be very important. And dogs WILL NOT.
I also notice in the proposal that they are talking about LOWERING the amount of time that off leash use will be available come October 1st - that's the HRM for you. Pathetic.
But on to the batting cage. That was built by private funds and put on public land. I find that very interesting - dog owners in Halifax want a fenced in dog park - does that mean if we as dog owners pay for fencing - we can have a fenced in dog park? I think it does. We should demand that.
The Minor Ball Association did it. Why can't we? What is the difference? Can anybody tell me what the difference is between a batting cage and a fence? There is no difference.
We as dog owners should select a park that is suitable to be fenced in like the Minor Ball Association selected a park that was suitable for a batting cage - and tell the City that we will be fencing it in - and make that an off leash dog park.
And then we will have a fenced in dog park and all our problems will be solved. End of story. Why can't we do that? The Minor Ball Association did it - what makes dog owners different than parents of child ball players? We pay the same taxes. What makes us different? We are no different.
I don't think I can make it to the meeting tomorrow night - but I really hope someone with a loud voice can go to the meeting tomorrow night. I really hope someone does who knows the background of dog parks in the HRM.
I also wanted to give a link that I found on the HRM's website - and it is a listing of all the playgrounds in the HRM - there are like a KAJILLION playgrounds in the HRM that are maintained by the city - there has got to be over ONE HUNDRED playgrounds for children - and we have about 5 off leash dog parks. There is a little bit of an inbalance in the use of our tax dollars being slapped in our face - http://www.halifax.ca/rec/PlaygroundsinHRM.html
And then we also have this table - which is a listing of budgets for City Projects - and you can see that in the next 5 years they're planning on spending $350,000 on outdoor spray pool maintenance, and a bunch of money on lawn bowling upgrades - and nothing on dog park upgrades or maintenance - and you have to ask yourself why? WHY? Really, why? Email your Councillor and ask them - why?
Summer off leash sports fields - http://www.halifax.ca/RealPropertyPlanning/OLPS/olps_maps.html - Chain Lake on Crown Drive (which is off the Bay Road which is up the road from the Armdale Rotary), Eddie Leblanc #3 on First Lake Drive in Lower Sackville, Glenbourne #2 on Parkland Drive in Clayton Park, Green Space between George Samuel and Nousha Court at 414 Kingswood Drive in Hammonds Plains and Conrose Field on Conrose in the South end of Halifax
On November 1, 2010 HRM will reopen 28 sports fields for off leash activities. The fields will be open from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM until May 1, 2011 - http://www.halifax.ca/RealPropertyPlanning/OLPS/documents/OffLeashSF2010.pdf