Parks belong to all of us

Kids yell and laugh, adults and teens make noise playing sports, and dogs bark. That’s what parks are about

Westview Park has a new off-leash area for dogs.

Editor, The News:

Re: Not listening (Letters, May 20).

I presume Juliana Plesner was referring to me when she wrote that “people who are not residents of the neighborhood are forcing the dog park upon us,” because other than Ms. Plesner and her mother, I was the only other non-parks board person there.

Do I live in the neighbourhood ?

I live 10 blocks away.

If that means I’m not a part of the neighbourhood, then I would remind her that parks belong to all the citizens of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

As a taxpaying resident of Maple Ridge, not only do I have a right to speak on issues, it is my civic duty.

When I attended the parks board meeting, I did not intend to speak because I knew that it was a decision-making meeting and I was there to hear the debate.

Ms. Plesner put forward arguments that were either not true or had been corrected by changing rules by the board.

“Dogs could jump the fence and small children are in the park.” In the last two years that I’ve been going to dog parks, I’ve never seen a dog even try to jump the four-foot fence, never mind jump it.

“There will be a waste problem.” Dog owners in these parks are diligent in picking up after their dogs and will point out to other owners that their dogs had done their business. They also share doggy bags and pick up waste that was missed.

“There will be a noise issue.” True, but the parks board has changed the hours people and dogs can be in the park to ensure that any noise would not inconvenience the neighbors.

There are people who are opposed to any sort of noise. In parks, kids yell and laugh,adults and teens make noise playing sports, and dogs bark. That’s what parks are about.

She points out the park is presently being used by the homeless and drug dealers. If there is more traffic in the park, it’s likely these people will move on.

Gordon Westrand

Maple Ridge


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