Chilliwack: one of the few green agricultural pockets left in the Fraser Valley. As the years go by, we are seeing the wild areas gradually being chipped away and clear-cut for more developments of urban sprawl.
More recently, one particularly disturbing area is the 30-plus acres located next to the Rotary Trail, behind the university trades centre. OK, so I know wildlife don’t pay taxes, but the death and destruction going on in there at light speed is gob smacking.
Not only was it an untouched habitat for wildlife, it was also a fantastic area for dogs to get the essential stimulation that only freedom from a leash can do.
This brings me to the question I would ask, and that is: Of the plethora of trails alongside the Vedder River, cannot one of them be officially designated off-leash for responsible dog owners?
The holding cell in Sardis that is called a “dog park” is absurd, and forces dogs to interact in that small place whether they want to or not. Island 22 is adequate, if you happen to live that far away and can afford plenty of bug spray.
We are constantly treated like criminals by vigilante leash Nazis when walking on trails near our waterways. It should seem to me that dog lovers and dog haters alike would appreciate a walking trail for well-adjusted dogs that do not need to be tethered to their owners.
Surrey has nine off-leash parks, and has developed a Dog Off-leash Strategy Plan, a 200-plus page guideline for design and construction of off-leash areas and future sites across their city. Langley has two off-leash parks, one is 18 acres; Abbotsford has three areas, plus the Sumas Canal Dike Trail (seven kilometres), all designated off leash. Even Cultus Lake has a decent area dedicated to dogs.
These cities all recognize the importance of off-leash, canine friendly walking paths. When are we going to catch up to the forward thinking of our neighbouring communities?