Lock, Stock and Barrel

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After the Canandaigua Canine Campus “soft open” on November 21, 2018, early park registrants eagerly awaited for the secure access gates to go “live” with connected electric so only park members/key card holders could use the dog park. This would provide the safety layer that the membership model provides: only registered users and their healthy, socialized dogs could access the park. In the interim, anyone could enter the park and they did. Many registrants, myself included, found that we were using the space at an elevated risk. Some dog owners would turn around and leave if unregistered dogs were there (after the uncomfortable conversation ice breaker “sooo…is your dog registered?”). There were a lot of rules broken: aggressive pups, young children in the space, waste left on the ground, owners with dog treats (a no-no because of food aggression or food allergies), people walking their leashed dogs in the park (leading to leash aggression) while others left their leashes in the car entirely (no way to separate dogs if there is a problem if you don’t have your leash with you) yadda, yadda, yadda. Fast forward five months to last week (with a lot of excuses and finger pointing in that interim) the city has finally installed and (RG&E) connected the electricity. The gates lock and the key cards finally work!

More progress: sidewalks have been installed, along with benches and we are told that stone dust will be spread in the yard entrances because of mud complaints and paw washing and drinking water features and a bike rack will be installed this week. The pet memorial rock garden paver path will be grouted and two benches installed in that attractive outdoor lobby area graciously underwritten by the Karz family. More landscaping and shade structures are planned. Also, Canandaigua Academy students are hosting a fundraiser on April 30th with plans to underwrite agility equipment (see “Events” on the right column of our home page for details).

The city is planning a Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting on National Dog Park Day, Saturday, May 4th.  Everything is finally coming together “Lock, Stock and Barrel.” Yay!

What remains is how to compensate the registrants who paid to use the park for  months while anyone could—making their usage fee unnecessary. I will be at the Council’s Environmental/Parks Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 14th, 7PM (Hurley Building, 205 Saltonstall Street) to request that the council extend a complimentary 2020 membership to early registrants who feel strongly about compensation for their frustrations. Many do, some don’t.

Please attend if you have an opinion, or shoot me an e-mail with your thoughts: canandaiguacaninecampus@gmail.com.

Otherwise, see you at the students’ Bark for the Park event and at the dog park!

Nancy McCarthy

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