News & Information

News & Updates from the park


May 2019


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Our hats are off to KPDC member and former Director, Ed Skomro!!

Ed loves Kilcona Park. He appreciates its rustic, rural quality. He often walks his dog in the on-leash area, checking the ponds for resident and migrating waterfowl, listening to songbirds, and keeping an eye open for deer, hare, beaver, muskrat, and other wildlife. Ed loves Kilcona’s aspen forest and its big old cottonwood trees. So, when he noticed that a resident beaver was felling cottonwoods again, he decided to do something. He’d seen this happen before and he knew he had to act quickly to prevent the loss of any more trees.

Ed took photos of the damage and contacted Kilcona Park Dog Club.

KPDC contacted the Park Superintendent and the City Naturalist. For years, the City’s solution to problem beavers has been to trap or shoot them. But howls of protest from Kilcona animal lovers has the club and the City exploring other options.

In the past week the City responded to Ed’s alert, banding ten of the most vulnerable trees with stucco wire. KPDC and the City plan to protect many other trees the same way. And while we’ve solved the problem in the short-term, Ed’s action got us thinking about the urgent need for Kilcona’s dog park community to protect our own share of Winnipeg’s endangered forest canopy.

Winnipeggers have never been more aware of the extent to which our urban forest is threatened. Almost a quarter of a million American elms, the largest population in North America, is at risk of being completely destroyed. The invasive emerald ash borer has devastated urban tree canopies wherever it has touched down. In Winnipeg, the borer and cottony ash psyllid (jumping tree lice) threaten to wipe out 350,000 green ash in the next decade, including those at Kilcona.

Imagine what our beautiful city will look like with a half million fewer trees!!

Ash canopy in 2006 and 2009 before and after emerald ash borer

But Ed reminds us that insects and beavers are not the only threat to Kilcona’s trees. As uncomfortable as it is to think about, our beloved fur children kill trees by peeing on them. In high-use dog parks like Kilcona, trees are really in trouble.  Over the past decade, most of the trees around the parking lot have died a slow death from dog urine poisoning.

Trees in Kilcona’s parking lot and play area – 2007

Dog urine is highly acidic. When dogs pee on trees, two things happen. Their urine seeps into the soil and causes severe damage to the roots. The acid in the urine eats through the bark – the tree’s protective barrier – into the cambium and wood. Repeated hits of urine create an “open wound” on the base on the tree which never has a chance to heal. With its defense system destroyed, the tree becomes susceptible to diseases, pests, dehydration and nutrient loss, and succumbs to a premature death.

Look around the base of Kilcona’s trees. Most of the damage is in the lower two feet of the trunk. Most trees are bleached white from urine. Many have deep fissures in their bark and cracks on the trunk. And on some, the bark has peeled off just above the ground.

Of course we’re not telling you to stop your dog from peeing at the park 😊. But you can do something to help. It’s simple! Redirect your dog whenever you see it heading for a tree.

KPDC will continue to explore other options to protect trees from dog urine poisoning.

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May 2019

KPDC Volunteers Chip In and Win Great Prizes!

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Gregg Iannaccore and Berry Hill Landscaping staff

On Sunday Kilcona Park Dog Club volunteers and Berry Hill Landscaping staff – armed with wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes and 5-gallon pails – set to work widening and levelling another 400 metres of badly-eroded trails in the off-leash area. The weather was, frankly, miserable! Temperatures hovered around zero. Blustery winds created an uncomfortable windchill, and there were even a few snow showers. But at least there were no mosquitos!

And at the end of the work bee, volunteers were rewarded with hot slices of Boston Pizza, courtesy of North Kildonan Councillor Jeff Browaty.

Tyler White and Christine Quinlan

Volunteers attacked the mountains of wood chip that have become familiar features on  Kilcona’s landscape over the past few months. They hauled, shoveled and spread a thick layer of chips in several low-lying sections of the trail network – areas that turn into dog-magnet mudholes whenever it rains! The chips will make the rutted, uneven trails more user-friendly and easier for people to navigate.

Chipping below the hill by the maintenance compound

Taking a short break from labour-intensive task of raking heavy, wet wood chips into place, trail steward Jai Reid said, “This is really nice. Walking on wood chips feels like walking on brand new carpet!”

Trail steward Jai Reid

To avoid further damaging the trails with heavy equipment, Kilcona Park staff deliver chips to the trails during the winter when the ground is frozen. While wood chips are the quickest, easiest way to make off-leash trails less muddy and more passable, they are not a permanent fix.

Wood-chips compact and degrade and must be topped up on a regular basis. They also prevent evaporation and hold snow melt and rain water longer that would happen if the trails remain uncovered. The wet, heavy clay underneath the chips remains soft and is prone to rutting from even light foot and vehicle traffic.  And by absorbing standing water, wood chips contribute to Kilcona’s ongoing drainage problems.

To prevent trail erosion and washouts, a 2011 Kilcona off-leash trail study recommended surfacing trails with crushed rock and installing ditches and culverts to drain water quickly into the retention ponds. The estimated cost – a half million dollars. With a cash-strapped City Council, this will not be happening any time soon.

Over the past three years approximately 1200 metres of trails along the North Pond Trail, the Hill Trail, and trails in the northern part of the off-leash area have been mulched with wood chips – about 400 metres each spring.  KPDC thanks  our amazing volunteers! A special thanks to Miles Mac student volunteer, Soundarya Raj!

Chipping on the North Pond Trail – 2017

The winners of this year’s “Eager Beaver Trail Chippers” draw are:

  • Christine Quinlan – $50 Sprockett’s Doggy Day Camp gift certificate

  • Nicole Doherty – $50 Sprockett’s Doggy Day Camp gift certificate

  • Andrew Robertson – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Angie Zalondek – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Ann Gay – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Colleen Hill – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Cory Torch – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Dave Brown – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Dylan Stevenson – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Ericka Oelke – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Jeremy McLellan – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Lynne Gauthier – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Mini Polson – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Pat Kennett – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Paul Shelton – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Ray Grymusa – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Tyler White – Pet Valu (Kildonan Green) gift certificate – free dog wash

  • Gail Warywoda – Shippam summer fun pack – sunglasses and drink holders

  • Soundarya Raj – Shippam sunglasses

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Jan 2019

2018 Kilcona Park Dog Club Outstanding Volunteer Honour Roll

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Kilcona Park Dog Club Board of Directors recognizes and thanks 127 outstanding dog-loving volunteers who donated their time and service to Kilcona Park stewardship activities – the spring clean-up, the coyote research project, trail-chipping, Winnipeg Dog Fest, and fundraising to bring clean drinking water into Kilcona. Our favourite dog park is a better place thanks to awesome volunteers like you!

  • Alex Mills

  • Alex Rapley

  • Alex Zenchuk

  • Alysha Scott

  • Andrew Robertson

  • Angela Biyak

  • Angie Zalondek

  • Ann Gay

  • Ashley Toews

  • Aurora Vandersluis

  • Bernard St. Amant

  • Beth Proven

  • Camille Kram

  • Chantal DeMare

  • Charlene Biebrich

  • Christine Montsion

  • Christine Quinlan

  • Cole Kachur

  • Colleen Hill

  • Connor Miles Gold

  • Corrie Shore

  • Craig Handkamer

  • Dar Close

  • Daria Zenchuk

  • Darryl Burton

  • Dave Brown

  • David Firman

  • Dawn Cross-Baron

  • Don Martens

  • Don Taylor

  • Ericka Oelke

  • Ezra Vandersluis

  • Gail Kulyk

  • Gail Warywoda

  • Greg Iannaccone

  • George Foley

  • Heather Bater

  • Heather Gold

  • Helen Foite

  • Helene Kirkman

  • Irene Warkentin

  • Jai Reid

  • James Biyak

  • Jamie Neczkar

  • Janet Werbiski

  • Jeff Henry

  • Jeremy McLellan

  • Jeremy Piche

  • Jerry Pritchard

  • Jessica Vandersluis

  • Jim McEachern

  • John McPeek

  • Jon Close

  • Judy Pfeiffer

  • Jules Carlson

  • Karen Friesen

  • Karen Naylor

  • Kathleen Kirkman

  • Kathryn James

  • Kathy Foley

  • Keith Vandersluis

  • Kelly Munroe

  • Ken Kalturnyk

  • Kendra Turl

  • Kieren O’Keeffe

  • Kim Loeb

  • Krystyn Larry

  • Kurt Burstahler

  • Larissa Munroe

  • Larry Wozney

  • Leslie Daum

  • Linda Christian

  • Lisa Light

  • Lori Darragh

  • Makaela Poirier

  • Manny Bairos

  • Margie Jackson

  • Mary Franklin

  • Maureen Voss

  • Melanie Bidzinski

  • Melissa Makara

  • Melodye Shymkiw

  • Mike Dixon

  • Monika Trendota

  • Nathan Kachur

  • Nic Alleyne

  • Nicolas Blandford

  • Nicole Doherty

  • Pat Hervo

  • Paul Shelton

  • Payton Poirier

  • Phil Werbiski

  • Raf Grymuza

  • Ray Gutnick

  • Renee Gould

  • Rhonda Molotsky

  • Robert Thompson

  • Robyn Miller

  • Ron Fortier

  • Rose-Zan Verinder

  • Ross Shaw

  • Russell Loewen

  • Ryan Cowtun

  • Samantha Tease

  • Sandra Skorupski

  • Sasha Emric

  • Sheila Fortier

  • Sonia Jablonski-Praznik

  • Stacy Kuryk

  • Stephanie Biyak

  • Sue Murray

  • Susan Argue

  • Susan Burkitt

  • Sylvia Champion

  • Teresa Lynn Holloway

  • Teresa Zadravec

  • Terry Fogg

  • Tony Zerucha

  • Tyler White

  • Sellars

  • Wendy Bates

  • William Nerger

  • Zach Piche

  • Zelko Krytlyk

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Sep 2018

The Results Are In – Kilcona Park Coyote Research Project

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KPDC has been informed of the results of the study that Manitoba Health conducted at Kilcona Park in May. The goal of the research was to learn whether a gastrointestinal parasite – E. multilocularis – is being passed from coyotes to dogs. The tapeworm doesn’t hurt dogs, but if people are infected, it can cause serious liver damage that is very difficult to treat.

Many Kilcona dog owners volunteered to help with the research project by collecting coyote scat at the dog park and providing stool samples from their own dogs.

University of Manitoba Professor Pierre Plourde, a member of the research team,  has informed KPDC that all of the dog stool sample results were negative for the parasite. Of the forty-nine coyote scat samples that were collected, one tested positive for E. multilocularis. Dr. Plourde says the research team is not very alarmed or surprised by this result.  He says the risk of human infection is still very low.

Dr. Plourde says the best way to prevent humans swallowing tapeworm eggs and becoming infected is to prevent your dog from becoming infected.  Don’t allow your dog to hunt and eat wild rodents like mice.

If you’re concerned that your dog may have eaten rodents, take a stool sample to your veterinarian to be tested. The good news is that if a dog is infected, the tapeworm is easy to treat with medication.

Dr. Ploudre’s message to Kilcona Park users is that it’s good practice to wash your hands after handling any animal (to prevent coming into contact with and swallowing tapeworm eggs) and it is prudent to prevent pets from hunting and eating wild animals, including rodents to prevent them from getting infected with tapeworms.  He says those two simple measures are the most effective and easy ways to prevent human infections of E. multilocularis.

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May 2018

Kilcona Park – Clean and Green!

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The first Sunday in May…the perfect day to be at the park! Hundreds of volunteers agreed and turned out for the 18th Annual Kilcona Park Dog Club/ Royal LePage Prime Spring Clean-up.

Armed with buckets, bags, rakes, shovels and pooper scoopers, and enjoying the warm, sunny weather, the Poo Crew pitched in to clean up and spruce up our favorite dog park. Thanks to everyone who performed the seriously unpleasant task of picking up other people’s dog poop to make our park cleaner, safer, and more attractive.

This spring’s clean-up will be remembered for two things.

The first…A dedicated team of volunteers also picked up coyote scat in the interest of science. Coyote scat can be recognized by the presence of bones, fur and feathers. Fifty samples were collected along the Forest Trail, near the northern ponds behind homes on Knowles Avenue, and on the hill in the off-leash hill.

The collection was done in support of a research project the is being directed by MB Health, the University of Manitoba and the WRHA. Investigators wish to know if a species of tapeworm that has been introduced into Canada from Europe and Asia is present in wolves, coyotes, foxes and dogs in the Winnipeg area. While the tapeworm is harmless to dogs, it causes serious disease that is difficult to treat when transmitted to humans. Many Poo Crew volunteers also provided baggies with fresh samples of their dogs’ feces that researchers will test for the parasite.

The second thing – a matter of great concern to clean-up volunteers – is how incredibly filthy almost every part of the park was this spring. Poop everywhere! While most Kilcona dog owners are responsible pet owners, some obviously are not.

If you are one of the scofflaws who thinks you don’t have to pick up if you dog heads into the tall grass, you’re busted! It’s a very dangerous practice. Dog waste that hides in the weeds carries the same disease-causing bacteria and parasites as it does in the short grass and along the trails.

Spring run-off carries fecal matter from the hills down into the ponds, contaminating the water where dogs swim and drink.

Kilcona’s responsible dog owners have grown tired of such irresponsible behavior. They are reporting park users who violate the law and Winnipeg Animal Services is acting on those reports. Here’s the process.

Animal Services advises park users to carry spare bags. If you see a pet owner not pick up after their dog, offer them a bag. If the person refuses to co-operate, take photos of the dog, the person, and their vehicle license plate.  Email the photos to the City at

Animal Services investigates every complaint except anonymous ones. You will be asked to provide your name, address and phone number but that information will not be given out to the offender.

So far this spring, Animal Services has received 283 complaints. Sixty-six resulted in warnings and 21 pet owners have been ticketed. Fines for not cleaning up after your dog range from $200 to $400.

Hundreds of bags of unclaimed dog waste were picked up at Kilcona Park on Sunday. Thanks to KPDC’s outstanding Poo Crew for a brilliant performance!

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Ken del Kennels