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LETTER: Routley Park user applauds Langley Township for improving dog park

A longtime area resident compares Routley’s dog park with other Township sites

Dear Editor,

Having lived in this neck of the woods since 1989, Routley didn’t have to fight for a park. There was always one intended in the official neighbourhood plan. I lived on 70th Avenue for 20 years when it was still rural and now live off one of the foot paths from the park. That aside, R. Gupta’s letter had me shaking my head.

Between my husband and I, we make two to three trips daily by Routley Park and to call the area north of the dog park the most utilized is ridiculous. Rarely do we see that portion of the park in use. We are now six years regularly walking by with past and current dogs.

To suggest it should be set aside for picnics, rolling and soccer-watching is self serving. There is a designated picnic table area already in the park.

I was very vocal in contacting the Township to expand on the dog park. The current dog park comprises about five per cent of the entire park given the playground, tennis courts, picnic tables, community gardens, playing field, baseball diamond, hill and parking lot. To allege that expanding on the pitiful dog park has somehow attacked the “decent public space” is such hyperbole.

I watched two sons play a combined 12 years of soccer at pitches all over the Lower Mainland without a hill to watch from. It is over the top to label the “smaller hill” a “safe sanctuary” from the “older kids” and “smokers” that use the “big hill.” Seriously, give me a break.

And why would you think residents adjacent to that area of the park are the ones that should have somehow been personally consulted? They have no more entitlement to it than the rest of the hood.

The dog park has been a joke since the day it opened. Ugly, unappealing, unkempt and painfully underutilized because it’s too small for proper fetching, with a gross sand floor, pitted with holes and mud puddles, and regularly encroached on by blackberry bramble. This has, in turn, has led to conflicts for those of us playing with our dogs outside of the fenced area.

One only has to look at the dog parks in Murraryville, Brookswood and Derby Reach to see the obvious fail that took place at Routley. Bravo for the Township finally doing something about it. With the lack of yard space in this neighbourhood, I’m sure dog owners are applauding a decent sized dog park to visit.

Michele Lavery, Routley

• Raj Gupta letter about Routley Park