Dog owners rally to keep Africville off-leash dog park
Africville Heritage Trust wants off-leash park to be moved from National Historic Site
A group of 55 dog owners who use Africville Park in Halifax are continuing their efforts to save the off-leash space for their four-legged friends.
Africville was razed by the city in the 1960s and landscaped over with Seaview Park. The park was declared a National Historic Site in 1996 and renamed Africville Park in 2011.
The area may soon be closed to dogs because the Africville Heritage Trust feels the park is on sacred ground. It would like to see another dog park set up elsewhere.
Sunday Miller, executive director of the Africville Heritage Trust, feels it's not right to have dogs defecating in the park on a daily basis.
"The only people who come on a regular basis are dog owners and their dogs and others don't come because it's an off-leash dog park," she said.
"That's not giving proper value to the history and the story that should be celebrated here."
The city is currently reviewing the park's off-leash status.
Mike Goneau takes his two dogs to the park three times a day.
He said if a deal can't be worked out to save the off-leash park, then the city will have to find another safe space for the hundreds of dogs and dog owners that use Africville Park.
"I grew up in the north end so I understand the history of Africville. I appreciate the history and where it's coming from. I agree with it. Give us a dog park that is fully fenced because the last thing I really want to hear is a car squealing and wondering which dog just got struck," he said.
At least one councillor, Linda Mosher, supports saving the dog park.
The city may allow a small piece of the park to still be used as an off-leash park.
Dog owner Jeff Lanthier said he hopes a compromise can be reached
"We're hoping that we can reach a compromise with everybody working together and everybody enjoying the space together, including organizing clean-up days to make sure the park is clean, particularly for the Africville reunion that happens once a year," he said.