The City of Winkler has decided on a new location for the community's dog park.
Due to the expansion at the water treatment plant, the old park north of Highway 14 was closed.

"Once we knew there was a water treatment plant expansion on the horizon, we knew it could impact our dog park," said Jordan Driedger, Director of Community Services for the City of Winkler. In anticipation of a possible move, around two years ago the city formed a committee that included dog park users and people dedicated to the former dog park.

Winkler's Water Treatment PlantWork has begun to prepare the site for the expansion to Winkler's Water Treatment facility.

Driedger says the location north of Highway 14 had some benefits. There was access to water, a big green space, and parking, and it was a good location as far as proximity to residents. 

"There were some benefits to that space and we were a little bit sad to lose it, but once we knew that expansion would be happening we shifted our focus to find a new location."

Driedger says looking for a new location took almost two years of exploring different options and talking to land and property owners. He said they explored close to 20 different spots within the city or on the outskirts before settling on Scotia Park.

"Right now it is a green space, and so, to turn that green space into a dog park, we plan to reuse the fencing from the existing dog park and put that in place. We would then make sure any amenities that we need before opening are in place including, a special entrance for the dogs to ensure some dogs are entering, there's not other dogs escaping," said Driedger. "They had a fairly elaborate setup at the other dog park. There were a few benches and shelters, and things for the dogs to do at the other location that we'd like to move over there (Scotia Park). 

"It has a lot of the things that we would want, and what we heard from our dog users of what they would want in a dog park, including some shelter from the wind, and some shelter from the sun. There's a lot of trees at Scotia Park. There is some good walkability to that park from a few different streets." He notes Scotia Park is also near water hookups, has good lighting, and visibility from the highway for security. 

Driedger says they hope to get started in the next few weeks to get everything in place at Scotia Park, and then announce an opening.