News & Information

News & Updates from the park


May 2012

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Improvements at the Dog Park


Winnipeg Parks and Open Space Division has begun to implement some of its consultant’s recommendations for improvements to the Dog Park. KPDC, Kilcona’s official steward, will work with the City to raise funds for specific improvement projects.

The recommendations are contained in a report entitled “Kilcona Park – Off-Leash Area Path Remediation.” The report was prepared by Landscape Architect Dean Spearman who was commissioned by the City of Winnipeg in April 2011 to study and address trail damage and to look at ways to enhance the visitor experience in Kilcona’s off-leash area. The report indicates that the trails at Kilcona Park’s Off-Leash Dog Park are facing a number of challenges.

The Board of Directors of Kilcona Park Dog Club worked closely with Mr. Spearman and Parks and Open Spaces throughout the study. The club held a public meeting last April, where Mr. Spearman met with dog owners to hear their concerns. The following points were raised:

  • Trails had been damaged by vehicles, aggressive snow clearing practices and overuse. As a result, trails were compromised in spring and after heavy rain; rendering them muddy, slippery and difficult to navigate.
  • Poor drainage and run-off were contributing to trail erosion.
  • A shortage of litter baskets discouraged dog owners from picking up after their pets.
  • The off-leash area should be expanded to accommodate the increased number of dogs and people using the park.
  • More trees should be planted to create shelter belts, and existing trees should be protected from dog urine with guards.
  • Washroom hours should be extended beyond 3pm because most people walk their dogs in the evening.
  • The toboggan run adjacent to the off-leash area should be moved or closed.


Mr. Spearman also met with park staff to hear their point of view and made several on-site visits during the spring and summer to evaluate the trail network. He hiked the park’s entire trail network with the Board to hear Kilcona Park Dog Club’s perspective.


The report notes:

“The user density of Kilcona Park exceeds the capacity of the trails in their current state. Short and long-term capital investments are required if the trails are to be able to meet the demands of current and increasing park user-ship. Durable trails must be able to drain well and there are several areas that require some form of surface grade alteration to provide good drainage.

Lack of drainage, combined with increased usage and prolonged wet periods over a number of years, compounded with unfortunate maintenance practices have resulted in unfavourable path conditions such as standing water, ruts and muddy sections.

In addition, conflicts, both perceived and real, between different park users exist. Finally, some issues arise regarding the “legibility” of the off-leash area.”

The report recommends:

  1. Remediation that improves drainage at key locations, including ditch excavation, the installation of more culverts, regarding, and surfacing the paths with crusher fines instead of wood chips, which actually retain moisture and slow the rate of evaporation.
  2. Policies that prevent damage to the paths and allow them to recover from stress.
  3. Improving site furnishings, signage and providing trash receptacle stations.
  4. Path reconstruction and improvements in selected locations.
  5. Provision of more appropriate tools and equipment to maintenance staff.
  6. Clearly stated and communicated policies.
  7. New signage – both temporary and permanent – to communicate ongoing path management, and more permanent usage guidelines.


In addition the report contains specific recommendations for:

  • Improved park maintenance practices and procedures that include vehicle considerations.
  • Minimizing human and animal impact on trails by widening them, permanently and/or temporarily closing, relocating, and/or rotating them.
  • Park furnishings – more benches along the trails, trash kiosks, and standardized signage regarding park etiquette, by-laws, water advisories, trail closures, and maps).


The City has already implemented several recommendations.

  • Six new trash/signage kiosks with park maps have been manufactured and will be installed along the trails this summer.
  • Additional litter baskets have been installed at permanent locations.
  • New water quality warning signs have been installed near the ponds in the off-leash area and more will be added this spring.
  • Washroom hours have been extended to accommodate evening traffic.
  • New lower impact snow clearing practices and summer maintenance practices are in place.
  • The toboggan run adjacent to the off-leash will be relocated south of the ball diamond to reduce conflict between the user groups and giving tobogganers a longer, obstacle-free run.


The class D estimate for improving drainage, upgrading the perimeter trail in the off-leash area and for kiosks, benches, signage and tree guards is close to $500,000.  KPDC will focus on raising funds for specific improvements such as the purchase of benches and kiosks, forestation of the off-leash area and upgrading sections of the trail network.


May 2012

50/50 Draw Winner!

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Congratulations to Wayne L’Esperance who won the 50/50 draw at Kilcona Park Dog Club’s 11th Annual Spring Clean-Up.

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May 2012

“Hey Dad, Is My Groomer Professionally Certified?”

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“Hey Dad, Is My Groomer Professionally Certified?”



Here is a link to a news item that was featured on The National’s “Go Public” this week. An Ottawa dog groomer slashed this American Eskimo’s neck with a razor. The dog required emergency surgery to save its life.

Dog groomers in Ontario and British Columbia told CBC News that rapid expansion in the industry has led some shops to cut corners, especially by giving quick shaves instead of cutting the hair, which takes longer.

The news story highlights the need for dog owners to use groomers that are professionally certified by one of the industry’s licensing bodies – Canadian Professional Groomer, International Society of Canine Cosmologists, International Pet Groomers Association and National Dog Groomers Association.

In Ontario, the National Agency of Pet Grooming Schools is lobbying for provincial legislation to require all dog groomers to be fully trained and licensed.

Victoria Shroff, a Vancouver lawyer who focuses on animal law, says that since there are no regulations, owners should be much more aware of the hazards. “A dog could be very seriously injured and could actually lose his life, which is not something most people would associate with dog grooming,”

She suggests dog owners ask their veterinarian to recommend a groomer, then ask a lot of questions at the shop and stick around to observe how the dogs are handled.

The video has a shorter summary of what happened to this dog; the longer audio version gives the full story and details of serious other injuries that dogs have sustained at the hands of unqualified groomers.

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Apr 2012


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Kilcona Dog Park Flea Infestation Alert


Kilcona Park Dog Club Gold Sponsor, McPhillips Animal Hospital advises that several dogs who regularly visit Kilcona Park are being treated for moderate to heavy flea infestations.

Fleas have a complex life-cycle, most of which takes place away from your pet so treating fleas requires a multipronged approach. You need to treat your dog as well as your home and the dog`s environment.

If your dog has fleas, speak with your veterinarian right away.

If your dog has fleas, please be considerate of other park visitors and their pets. Help curb the infestation.

Remove your dog from the park and don’t bring him back until your certain he’s free of fleas!

The following information, approved by McPhillips Animal Hospital,  is designed to help you understand how fleas are transmitted and what to do if you discover your dog has fleas.

Fleas 101

To protect your pet, you need to know a little bit about fleas. Fleas like to live and breed in a warm, humid environment. They are most active during summer and fall, however cold does not harm adult fleas and they can live on your pet through the winter

The life cycle of a flea includes four stages — eggs, larvae, pupae or nymphs, and adults.

The adult female flea must have a blood meal to lay eggs. Female fleas can lay up to 2,000 eggs in their lifetime.

The eggs hatch into larvae in about one to six days. The larvae feed on dead organic matter, including adult flea feces, for the next seven days.

Then the larvae pupate. The adult normally emerges from the pupa after about six months. However a flea can wait inside the pupa for up to a year before emerging as an adult.

Then the cycle begins again. The newly hatched adult fleas must eat within a few days and so they go in search of a meal. Their preferred food source is your dog but fleas also bite people.

How Fleas Spread

Adult fleas spread very easily.  They are great jumpers. They hide in bushes and grass. They can easily jump from the grass onto your dog, or hop from one dog to another.

Flea eggs can get into a dog’s fur when he rolls around on the ground. Flea larvae flourish in carpets, upholstery and shady areas where infested dogs have been. The larvae don’t travel except to move away from bright lights.

The Itchy, Uncomfortable Truth

The adult stage is most visible and irritating to your dog. But the irritation can go beyond simple itching and scratching.

If a dog is allergic to flea saliva, one bite can send him into a scratching frenzy, known as pruritus, which can last for weeks. Pruritis itching is much more severe; it may lead to hair loss, inflammation, and secondary skin infections.

A flea bite can also transmit tapeworm, which can lead to serious anemia and weight loss.

How do you know if your dog has fleas?

Fleas have a flattened body, are brown to brownish-black, are one-twelfth to one-sixteenth of an inch long, and have six legs.

Watch your pet for signs of flea trouble: excessive scratching and biting, especially around the tail and lower back, and possibly raw patches where your dog has been biting and scratching himself. Examine your pet and his bedding as frequently as possible.

One likely place to spot fleas on your dog is at the base of his tail. To search for fleas, part your dog`s hair down to the skin. Fleas are also commonly visible around the head and neck and in the “armpits”, belly and inner thighs.

You may be able to see the tiny parasites scuttling through your dog’s hair. If you don’t see the actual fleas, a tell-tale sign is ‘flea debris’, black, granular dried blood that looks like specks of black pepper.

A flea comb can help you look for fleas on a thicker coat or on pigmented skin. If you see or feel dark grit in your dog’s coat, take some off and put it on a white paper towel. Add a drop of water. If the grit dissolves and turns red, you know it is flea feces.

Remember – If your dog has fleas, speak with your veterinarian right away.

If your dog has fleas, please be considerate of other park visitors and their pets. Help curb the infestation.

Remove your dog from the park and don’t bring him back until your certain he’s free of fleas!


Apr 2012

Park Safety

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Park Safety

Your dog(s) must remain under your control at all times, even when off leash.
For the safety of park staff, please make sure that you dog(s) stays clear of employees when they are emptying litter baskets and doing other maintenance in the park.
Make sure your dog does not engage in the dangerous practice of chasing the Gators.


A message from Winnipeg Animal Services, Winnipeg Parks Services and Kilcona Park Dog Club Inc.

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