Clinton councillor Wayne Marchant and MLA Jackie Tegart

Clinton councillor Wayne Marchant and MLA Jackie Tegart

New dog park opens in Clinton

Clinton hasn't really gone to the dogs, but its canine residents now have a new place to play.

Clinton dog park opening

In 2012, Sharon Marchant had a vision for the vacant brownfield next to her property on Cariboo Avenue in Clinton. She explained her vision for an off-leash dog park to her husband, Village of Clinton councillor Wayne Marchant, who got busy and drew up detailed plans and presented them to council. However, with no funding and a lot of things to learn by the totally new council, the plans were shelved.

Fast-forward three years. The original plans had disappeared, so Marchant drew them up again and they were presented to MLA Jackie Tegart as part of the village’s 2015 strategic planning wish list. Shortly thereafter, Tegart advised that she had secured $20,000 from the provincial government for the project.

The village began negotiations with Suncor, the owner of the brownfield, who would not allow the dog park to go on the property originally identified in the plan. They would, however, consider allowing it to go on the brownfield across the street from that one. After months of back-and-forth negotiations, an agreement was struck between the village and Suncor, with the village leasing the property for $1.00 per year.

Work began in the spring of 2016, with the fencing alone taking almost half of the funds. Water was run to the property, soil was brought in to level the rough spots, and benches and a doggy bag dispenser installed.

There is still work to be done: planting grass seed in the fall, installing some trees for shade, and perhaps even building memorial benches. (Councillor Marchant would like to install a memorial bench in memory of his wife Sharon.) Signage needs to be installed to let people know that the dog park is there. There are also plans to install a kiosk to display listings of events and activities that people can attend while visiting Clinton.

About a dozen people and four dogs attended the opening of the park on Thursday, June 23. Councillor Marchant outlined how the park had come about, and Tegart stated that she was pleased to be able to contribute to the project. Then she and Marchant cut the ribbon to officially open the park.

There were cookies for the human guests and dog biscuits for the canines. The dogs were allowed to run free in the dog park, and although it turned out that all four dogs were female, one felt the need to assert her dominance. It was a short scuffle, with no serious injuries to either dog involved.

“If you build it, they will come.” That is what is hoped for the Clinton off-leash dog park.

Senseless Act

There is a large round flowerbed in Reg Conn Centennial Park in Clinton. Originally installed as a wading pool, it was turned into a flowerbed decades ago. Every year the Village of Clinton purchases flowers and the Communities in Bloom committee members plant this bed. This year the public works crew cleared out weeds and added more soil prior to the flowers being planted. It was looking great!

Then, for some unknown reason, someone saw fit to pull out many of the flowers and throw them into the pond in the park. What reason would they have for doing this? Who would have done it? What kind of thrill were they expecting to get from this act?

If anyone saw this act of vandalism, please advise the Village of Clinton office and/or the RCMP. This bed is planted for the enjoyment of all. It was looking lovely with its red and white theme, and would have been lovely for Canada Day. Now it needs more plants. Sad!

Canada Day in Clinton

Everyone is invited to Reg Conn Centennial Park on July 1 to celebrate Canada Day. It starts with the flag raising at 11:00 a.m. and continues with hot dogs and birthday cake at noon, as well as face painting, games, and more. West Fraser Mills has provided a bouncy castle for the event, and the fire department will have one of the fire trucks available to provide water play for the kids. The Seniors’ Association will hold their annual yard sale at the Seniors’ Centre adjacent to the park.

Come and help celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday.