Laurie Hearn believes Marystown is in need of a safe place for dogs to play and their owners to socialize.
The self-described “20-something” who is an “import to the area” made the case for adding a dog park to the community’s facilities during a presentation at Marystown town council’s regular meeting Tuesday.
Ms. Hearn said she and her boyfriend had spent months looking for areas in the town to exercise their dog but found limited options in Marystown.
She said people are reluctant to walk their dogs on the road because of the risk it poses to the animals and their owners as well as motorists.
“After doing a little digging, we found a Facebook page, and it turns out there’s a bunch of other people like us that are very interested in a project like this,” Ms. Hearn told council.
She indicated a number of municipalities across the province have created dog parks in recent years including St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Clarenville, Grand Falls-Windsor, Pasadena and Labrador City.
“They realize this is a worthwhile investment. With Marystown as the hub of the Burin Peninsula, there’s no reason that we can’t meet the standard that these towns have set.”
She suggested Pasadena, which opened a dog park last year, in particular as a good model for Marystown to follow.
“After doing a little digging, we found a Facebook page, and it turns out there’s a bunch of other people like us that are very interested in a project like this.” Laurie Hearn
“They’re pretty comparable, so they would be a good place to turn. As far as I know, they’ve had real good success.”
Ms. Hearn, who acknowledged there are some risks involved and said safety must be a top priority, stressed a dog park as a huge selling point to attract new residents and keep current citizens happy.
She also pointed out, after an initial investment, which includes fencing, maintenance is relatively minimal.
Ms. Hearn’s presentation was referred back to the Recreation Committee for further discussion.
Mayor Sam Synard expressed optimism at the possibility of adding such a facility.
“I really think there’s an interest on behalf of the entire council to have a dog park.
“We’re probably one of the bigger communities without a dog park in the entire province.”
If council if amenable to the proposal, Ms. Hearn suggested the next steps would be to identify a location and then forming a committee of residents with a vested interest in the project to oversee it.