Emery Barnes Park dog off-leash area renewal & proposed expansion

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Photo of dog by Justin Veenema on Unsplash

In 2017, we approved the People, Parks and Dogs Strategy to help deliver carefully designed parks for people with and without dogs. The strategy identified Downtown as being in need of additional and renewed off-leash areas (OLAs) to support the high number of licensed dogs in the neighbourhood. Improvements to the OLA are necessary to withstand the impacts of daily use, and a proposed expansion could help to accommodate the growing number of dogs in the area while maintaining the existing activity spaces in the park.

In round 1 of public engagement, we posted signage in the park, our email newsletter went to 505 people, social media informed followers of our survey, and we sent 49,320 postcards to households and businesses near the park. We heard from you on topics including park use and potential OLA expansion. Take a look at the engagement summary from round 1.

Round 2 of public engagement ran from April 20-May 18 and has now concluded. Staff are now compiling feedback and an engagement summary will be posted on the project pages when available. Take a look at the round 2 engagement boards to see how your feedback from the first round of engagement shaped the design concept.


The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation acknowledges, with respect, that our parks are located on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

Translations

The automatic translation tool* is available for: Traditional Chinese [繁體中文] Simplified Chinese [简体中文] Punjabi [ਪੰਜਾਬੀ], Filipino [Tagalog], Vietnamese [Tiếng Việt], French [Français], Korean [한국어], Japanese [日本語] and Spanish [Español] – please see the tool at the top-right of this page.

*Note: the translation service on our website is hosted by Google Translate. As this is a third-party service, we cannot guarantee the quality or accuracy of any translated content.

In 2017, we approved the People, Parks and Dogs Strategy to help deliver carefully designed parks for people with and without dogs. The strategy identified Downtown as being in need of additional and renewed off-leash areas (OLAs) to support the high number of licensed dogs in the neighbourhood. Improvements to the OLA are necessary to withstand the impacts of daily use, and a proposed expansion could help to accommodate the growing number of dogs in the area while maintaining the existing activity spaces in the park.

In round 1 of public engagement, we posted signage in the park, our email newsletter went to 505 people, social media informed followers of our survey, and we sent 49,320 postcards to households and businesses near the park. We heard from you on topics including park use and potential OLA expansion. Take a look at the engagement summary from round 1.

Round 2 of public engagement ran from April 20-May 18 and has now concluded. Staff are now compiling feedback and an engagement summary will be posted on the project pages when available. Take a look at the round 2 engagement boards to see how your feedback from the first round of engagement shaped the design concept.


The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation acknowledges, with respect, that our parks are located on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

Translations

The automatic translation tool* is available for: Traditional Chinese [繁體中文] Simplified Chinese [简体中文] Punjabi [ਪੰਜਾਬੀ], Filipino [Tagalog], Vietnamese [Tiếng Việt], French [Français], Korean [한국어], Japanese [日本語] and Spanish [Español] – please see the tool at the top-right of this page.

*Note: the translation service on our website is hosted by Google Translate. As this is a third-party service, we cannot guarantee the quality or accuracy of any translated content.

  • Round 2 design concept

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    Take a look at the round 2 engagement boards to see how your feedback from the first round of engagement shaped the design concept.

  • Why renew Emery Barnes off-leash area?

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    The Vancouver Park Board is planning a renewal and proposing a small expansion of the existing dog off-leash area (OLA) in Emery Barnes Park. Emery Barnes is a well-loved park that balances a variety of features including the OLA. Improvements to the OLA are necessary to address ongoing safety and maintenance issues, as well as to accommodate the growing number of dogs in the area. In all of Vancouver, Emery Barnes Park serves the second highest number of licensed dogs living within 1 km of an OLA.

    Emery Barnes Park was built in 3 phases. Phase 1 was completed in 2003, phase 2, which included the dog off-leash area, was completed in 2010, and phase 3 was completed in 2012. Since building the off-leash area in 2010, we have adopted the People, Parks and Dogs Strategy. The strategy provides a framework for the next ten years and beyond to deliver well-planned and designed parks that accommodate park users, with and without dogs.

  • Why is an expansion of the off-leash area being proposed?

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    Emery Barnes is a well-loved park that balances a variety of spaces including the off-leash area (OLA). In all of Vancouver, Emery Barnes Park serves the second highest number of licensed dogs living within 1 km of an OLA.

    In our first round of engagement, we identified an opportunity to expand the OLA to help accommodate the high number of dogs in the neighbourhood, while maintaining the existing activity spaces in the park. The area identified for the proposed expansion was a small lawn area southwest of the existing OLA.

    In our survey, we heard that 80% of respondents agreed that expanding the OLA would be beneficial. We also heard that 67% of respondents would value a *self-managed, separate space for small/shy dogs.

    By expanding the OLA to include a small/shy dog area, we would be able to accommodate a growing number of dogs while also maintaining the existing park uses and circulation.

    *At a self-managed small/shy OLA, dog owners determine whether their dog is the right size and/or has the right temperament to use the space. Communication between owners is encouraged.

  • What's not working

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    Reviewing successes and challenges in dog off-leash areas helps us identify what is working well, and where strategies are most needed to facilitate sharing limited park space and to minimize conflicts. Here are some of the challenges at Emery Barnes OLA:

    • Limited options for play and enrichment for dogs
    • Few options for dogs to separate into different areas
    • Surfacing that causes maintenance challenges and safety concerns
    • Odours from dog-waste


    Images of existing condition:


  • About the People, Parks and Dogs Strategy

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    The People, Parks & Dogs Strategy (2017) provides a framework to deliver well-planned and designed parks with dog off-leash areas that ensure the comfort and safety of all park users with recommendations within four themes – access, design, stewardship and enforcement. Through mapping and analysis, the strategy identified six neighbourhoods considered deficient in dog off-leash areas. Through this strategy, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation is committed to providing equitable access across the city and improving access to OLAs.

    Public engagement is an important part in implementing the recommendations of the strategy. Input from all park users will help to ensure the successful renewal of this well-used amenity, while supporting a safe and comfortable experience for all park users, with and without dogs.

Page last updated: 26 May 2022, 10:27 AM