Bolton Dog Park users concerned with state of park

Some Caledon residents aren’t happy with the current state of the Bolton Leash-Free Dog Park.

Miranda Biggs, a member of the dog park committee, said she and others have concerns with broken fencing and a lack of maintenance at the park.

“We’ve had issues with dogs getting through and running out… they’re not contained within this park,” she said. “There’s no maintenance happening here… my point is we shouldn’t have to go to them to get garbage picked up, to get them to mow the lawn.”

In the spring, Biggs said, a truck came into the park to collect garbage and got stuck, leaving large ruts and tire tracks. She said another truck had to come in and pull it out, and the area is now temporarily fenced off and has become overgrown.

Biggs said, in general, she’s concerned with how high grass has been allowed to grow in the park, as ticks like tall grass. She said it also makes it hard for people to find dog poop and pick it up.

In past years, Biggs said maintenance of the Bolton Leash-Free Dog Park was much better and she’d like to see a return to form from the Town.

“A lot of people just won’t come to this park anymore… (other) people come here because they love this park, but they’ve been commenting about how it’s not a nice park now,” said Biggs.

Biggs said in the past the Town has told her new fencing is not in the budget for the park, and she’s unhappy with the temporary fencing being used in some areas.

Michael Hoy, Caledon’s Manager of Parks and Natural Heritage, said the Bolton Dog Park has experienced high levels of rain this spring, and that the temporarily fenced-off area will remain as is until drier weather allows turf restoration to proceed.

“Town staff conduct routine maintenance work within the Bolton Dog Park including but not limited to, bi-monthly grass cutting and waste collection on a weekly basis,” said Hoy in an email to the Citizen.

Hoy said Caledon is “currently working on plans” to complete improvements to the dog park. Phase One of these improvements is for the western half of the park and will include new fencing, separated small and large dog areas, a shade structure with seating, an updated water station and an accessible pathway.

Phase Two will include improvements for the eastern half of the park such as new fencing on the edge of the stormwater pond there, a shade structure, and grading works to improve drainage.

“Pending (Toronto and Region Conservation Authority) permit approval, the Town will start Phase 1 of the Bolton Dog Park improvements this fall,” said Hoy.

Hoy said Caledon plans to improve the stormwater management pond directly adjacent to the Bolton Leash-Free Dog Park in 2025 alongside Phase Two of the park improvements.

Biggs said work has been pushed back in the past and she doesn’t want to see any work get pushed back again. She wants improvements to the park completed as soon as possible.

Zachary Roman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen