For some time Council has been working through possibilities for an additional off-leash area for dogs in our City. We already have an area at Astrolabe Park in Daceyville so that dogs can run free and I’ve had quite a few requests from other residents for an additional area in Botany. One of the problems with our City is the density of living and making sure we have enough greens space for residents as well as dogs.
The most obvious place has been Sir Joseph Banks Park but fitting in an off-leash area with the existing playgrounds, walking tracks, bike paths and the natural bushland areas has not been easy. We’ve got native wildlife in the bushland and waterways at Sir Joseph Banks Park and to allow dogs to run free just wouldn’t be compatible. So, after a lot of thought and study, we’ve picked the western side of Hayden Place Reserve in Sir Joseph Banks Park as the most appropriate place. The Hayden Place Reserve is largely open grassland with established trees on the fringes. It’s about 4,000 square metres in size and that’s sufficient for dogs to get their exercise.
The area would be fenced off so that the recreational spaces on the eastern part of the reserve could continue to be used as they are presently and exercising dogs won’t intrude. Along with the fence we’ll also have water for the dogs and bins where dog droppings can be discarded. We’ll also add to the trees and shrubs around the outside of the area. There are some nearby houses and in the weeks ahead we’re going to let them know what we plan and gauge reactions. If all goes well during the consultation, we will move quickly to get this off-leash area ready for our local canines to get their exercise. The rest of Sir Joseph Banks Park will remain unchanged for dogs – they have to be on leashes and we ask owners to clean up after their dogs. I would welcome resident’s comments on this location and any feed back they might wish to provide.