Council is consulting on proposed fenced dog park concept plan. We welcome community feedback on the project, including the concept design, location, and any other matters you wish to comment on. The results of this consultation will be presented to Council for a decision on whether to proceed with the project. The below FAQs should assist with providing information about the proposed dedicated dog park.
Why is Council proposing to create a dedicated fenced dog park at Fritsch Holzer Park?
Through our Boroondara Community Plan consultation and other community feedback, Council identified a growing interest in the development of dedicated dog parks in Boroondara where people can exercise and train their dogs off-leash in a secure, fenced enclosure.
While there are many dog off-leash areas within Boroondara where people can walk and exercise their dogs, there are no dedicated dog parks with supporting infrastructure specifically designed to cater for dog walkers and their canine companions.
During Council’s Boroondara Community Plan consultation, the community told us they wanted:
- a secure space for dogs to be let off-leash and to play free from other recreational uses, such as sport and cycling.
- a facility that will allow dogs to run free and to be trained to recall.
- a secure environment for children and dog owners.
In response to this community feedback, Council proposes to deliver the first dedicated dog park at Fritsch Holzer Park.
Why was Fritsch Holzer Park selected as the pilot park to develop a dedicated dog park?
The City of Boroondara has approximately 600 hectares of parks, gardens and reserves. Approximately half of all parks and reserves across the municipality are designated dog off-leash areas, with the remainder requiring dogs to be kept on-leash whilst in the reserve.
To find a suitable location for the pilot dog park, an audit of existing dog off-leash reserves in Boroondara was undertaken to assess them against defined criteria to determine the suitability of each site for a new fenced dog park. This assessment was informed by current research, benchmarking with other dog parks and industry experts.
Dog park design criteria are presented in three categories:
- location and amenity
- existing infrastructure
- sensitive interfaces.
45 designated ‘off-leash’ parks and reserves were analysed through a high-level desktop assessment, based upon references to aerial photography, Google maps and Cadastral survey data. As a result of the detailed assessment 15 sites were shortlisted for more detailed analysis. Following field investigations, three sites have been selected as the most suitable sites for the location of a new dedicated dog park. From these, Fritsch Holzer Park has been identified as the preferred site to pilot the development of a dedicated dog park.
Is Fritsch Holzer already a dog friendly park?
Many people currently walk their dogs in this park, however the proposal is to create a dedicated, fenced area within the park for dogs to social, play and be trained off-leash.
What are the benefits of a dedicated dog park?
Dog parks have been growing in popularity over recent years as more and more successful examples are realised around the world. With increasing urban density, dog parks provide a much needed space for dog owners/guardians to exercise, play and socialise with their dogs off-leash in a secure environment.
A fenced dog park offers a different type of service from that offered by our existing dog off-leash reserves. Specific benefits of dedicated dog parks can include the following:
Benefits for dogs:
- physical and mental exercise for dogs
- socialisation for dogs
- safe environment for dogs to play, exercise and learn social skills.
Benefits for people:
- outlet for dog owners to socialise
- seniors and disabled owners have an accessible place to exercise their dogs
- social wellbeing and mental health.
Benefits for community:
- promotes responsible dog ownership
- affordable recreation option
- resting place for travelling community.
Why does the design concept include a fence?
Our research indicates that a fully enclosed fence with multiple entry/exit points is an important component of any dedicated dog park. A fence provides a contained environment for dogs to socialise, train, play and exercise off leash with their guardians.
Does Council plan to change the status of the remaining area within Fritsch Holzer Park to a dog on-leash reserve?
No. There are no plans to change the status of the existing dog off-leash area of the park.
How will a new, dedicated dog park affect how I use the park day-to-day?
Fritsch Holzer Park will remain a dog off-leash park as it has been for many years. A part of Fritsch Holzer Park is proposed to become a dedicated fenced dog facility. Visitors will be able to choose to use the new designated area, and/or continue to use the remaining park area as they have done in the past.
Visitation to the reserve may increase as a result of new users visiting the dedicated dog park.
Can I still walk my dog off-leash in the remainder of Fritsch Holzer Park?
Yes. Fritsch Holzer Park will continue to be a dog off-leash park.
Will this dedicated dog park facility always be open to the community for use?
The dedicated fenced dog park may be closed from time to time for maintenance and/or to allow time for the turf to recover from wear and tear from dog use.
Why is Council undertaking a pilot?
Council is undertaking a pilot project to help inform the development of dedicated dog parks in future. Officers will evaluate the project over time and take any relevant learnings into account when considering the development of any future dog parks.
How will Council use learnings in piloting a dedicated dog park?
Council engaged Hansen Partnership to undertake the design of the fenced dog park pilot concept. Together with Hansen Partnership we undertook a range of research activities including a desktop review of existing publications and guidelines, site visits and discussions with other municipal councils in Melbourne to understand their experiences with similar fenced dog park facilities.
Industry research and case studies have produced a collection of ‘best practice’ design guidelines to address both the behaviour of dogs and their owners, so that the optimal experience can be provided for both users, while ensuring minimal conflict with other dogs, the local community and the surrounding environment.
Key considerations of ‘best practice’ design guidelines include:
- encouraging socialisation and exercise
- encouraging interaction between dogs and owners
- reducing conflict and behaviours of aggression
- promoting responsible behaviour of the owner at the dog park
- ensuring minimal conflict with other park users.
What will happen to my feedback?
Officers will review all feedback received. Where appropriate the proposed plans will be modified prior to presentation to Council for a decision on whether to proceed with the project. People who have expressed a desire to be kept informed about the project will be provided with updates in the future.
When will works begin?
Pending review of the feedback received and presentation to Council for a formal decision, works would be undertaken by end of June 2019.
What features are out of scope for the pilot dog park?
Dog agility equipment, lighting and water play features are out of scope for the pilot.
Is the area affected by adverse weather conditions?
The area proposed for the dog park is within the flood retarding basin (1:100 flood overlay) and may be subject to occasional water inundation.
Read more about the proposed dog park pilot.