Author Kilcona Park Dog Club

The most innovative designers consciously reject the standard option box and cultivate an appetite for thinking wrong.

22

Aug 2016

New Bag Box Marks the End of an Era

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Today marked the end of an era as Kilcona Park Dog Club retired the aging recycled bag container that club founder, Wayne L’Esperance built and donated to the park fifteen years ago. The “bag box”, like an old friend, served Kilcona’s dog community well – but after a decade and a half of service it was showing its age.

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In its place, underneath the map, there’s a sturdy new bag box, cheerfully painted a shiny bright red to match the new lost and found box that Bob Christie and Ann Gay constructed and installed last month.

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Kilcona Park Dog Club would like to thank Ann, Bob, and Angie Zalondek for generously donating all of the material and for the time, effort and care they put into manufacturing the new bag container. As Ann says, “We are happy to donate to a place our dogs love!”

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It’s people like Bob, Ann and Angie that make Kilcona Dog Park such a special place!

KPDC salutes these wonderful volunteers!

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22

Aug 2016

TERESA AND GORDIE’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE!

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The winners of Kilcona Park Dog Club’s 2015 “Make a Splash – “The Real Journey to Churchill!” raffle reported in on the each day of their awesome vacation.

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DAY 1

“Fabulous flight on Calm Air. Beautiful weather in Churchill. Tour of Fort Prince of Wales. Amazing history.

Then Sea North Tours boat out onto the Bay. Surrounded by a hundred curious white belugas. We were astounded. Even saw the grey babies! Very cute.

Exceeded all expectations. Can’t wait for tomorrow… Teresa & Gordie

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DAY 2

“Big hike today courtesy of North Star Tours – Sloops Cove to Fort Prince of Wales. Gorgeous weather again. History here is incredible.

Saw beautiful sandhill cranes and seals popping their heads up!

Night scene at Tundra Inn hopping. So many young people that are living and working in Churchill and loving it. Sunset and full moon topped off a great day!”

Teresa & Gordie

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DAY 3

“Today we went on a long ride along the coast to see the general Churchill area. Again, lots of history.

With the acknowledgement of the displacement of the Dene peoples I thought it appropriate to include a photo of some of the graves of the unfortunate. Lots of babies died of a rampant epidemic here.

But the best thing happened – we saw a polar bear rambling along Eskimo Point! I can go home happy now!

Staff at the Seaport Hotel have been excellent. They even found and put away a very expensive pair of glasses that accidentally fell out of my knapsack. What a relief! The room is well equipped, comfortable and clean.

After 3 days of incredibly beautiful weather, this evening the thunder and lightening hit and it is pouring now. We were very lucky.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Take care.”

Teresa & Gordie

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DAY 4

“What we thought was our last day here… Spent the day wandering in and out of every gift shop and museum we could. Eskimo Museum has the most incredible collection of Inuit sculptures from the 1940’s on.

A fog thick as pea soup rolled in and our 8:15 pm flight to Winnipeg was cancelled!!

Shuttle from Seaport Hotel was right there to take us back for a 4th night. Can’t get out until 3 tomorrow, IF the fog lifts. Oh well, better safe than sorry…”

Teresa & Gordie

DAY 5

“We got home at 7:30 Friday night! We went back to the Seaport Hotel Thursday night. Flights were packed on Friday and we couldn’t get out until 3pm.

Extremely cold and windy now. Wow, did we have great weather for our tours earlier in the week! What a change! Flying into Winnipeg was like arriving at a warm, green jungle.

All in all, we both absolutely loved the entire experience of being so far north and would highly recommend it to anyone with an adventurous spirit. It is a beautiful and unusual place for people who only go south from Winnipeg.

Truly hope things work out for the people of Churchill. There’s going to be a lot of changes coming.

Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to take this trip to Churchill.”

Teresa & Gordie

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24

Jul 2016

Reflections on Niverville Dog Park

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Across North America, off-leash dog parks lead the way in new urban park development, growing by 89 percent since 2007. But off-leash parks are changing thanks to the growing number of informed and involved dog lovers.

Many dog parks, like the new one in Niverville, are being revamped to include amenities for people and dogs alike. They’re designed to provide an enriched, safe, attractive setting for exercise, fun and enjoyment.

This is what Kilcona Park Dog Club had in mind when the Board first proposed the water features project to the City of Winnipeg.

Aesthetic and functional, modern dog park features run the gamut. Most, including Kilcona, are equipped with benches and picnic tables, shade trees, and some kind of waste removal system, whether it’s mutt mitts, plastic bags, or pooper scoopers and trash receptacles.

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Almost all modern dog parks are equipped with a water station or drinking fountain for dogs and people. And if chasing a ball isn’t quite enough stimulation, a lot of parks now boast separate areas for agility courses and/ or play equipment.

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Doggy splash pad near Atlanta, GA.

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Buchanan Dog Park’s  “Tree of Dreams” shoots tennis balls!

Winnipeg dog owners don’t have to look far to see what can happen when a progressive-thinking municipality, volunteers, and businesses work together.

Niverville’s new dog park, hailed as a “Disneyland for Dogs” and a “One of a Kind in Manitoba”, opened yesterday through a public/private partnership between the municipality, which owns the land, and “Friends of Niverville Dog Park”, a volunteer organization like KPDC, that fundraises, works with sponsors, and donates equipment to the park.

Niverville’s Town Council and the public service are enthusiastic about the new park, believing it benefits the whole community by keeping dogs out of other public spaces and by attracting visitors to the community.

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Niverville volunteers and businesses installing dog park equipment

Until recently Niverville Dog Park was an underused baseball diamond. The Town of Niverville re-purposed the chain link fencing to turn the space into a fully fenced, landscaped municipal off-leash dog park complete with agility equipment – colourful ramps, jumps, tunnels, weaving poles, a teeter totter, waste bag dispensers, litter baskets, a recycling bin and a dog-themed seating area.

Agility is the ability to move quickly and easily; it’s about being nimble. Niverville Dog Park’s agility equipment is really a metaphor for the entire community. Local businesses constructed the equipment; the Town of Niverville prepared the concrete pads and volunteers installed the structures. Niverville’s dog park was developed in less than a year because the town’s agility and a surplus of good will and a remarkable effort by everyone involved.

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Opening day at Niverville Dog Park –  a family affair!

In contrast, at Kilcona Dog Park, the long-awaited water features project is well behind schedule, moving at the speed of molasses, caught up in bureaucratic red tape. While KPDC has raised more than enough money to fund the installation of the water line, a drinking fountain and a dog rinse station, the City administration stalled for a year and a half on the club’s  application for a lease.

And, in the end, the City’s terms and conditions were so onerous the Board was unable to sign the lease agreement. Among other things, the club would be required to pay the City to donate equipment to the park and would be required to take over maintenance, including mowing, snow removal, security and policing.

KPDC’s Board continues to work with the City administration to bring water into the off-leash area, and come to agreement on a suitable location for the drinking fountain, dog rinse station and splash pad.

The Board is optimistic that the “get ‘er done” attitude and exceptional cooperation of our dog-loving Niverville neighbours will serve as inspiration and an example of what can happen when municipal administrators are willing to work with community volunteers and elected officials to create safe and attractive off-leash spaces.

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Ken del Kennels