HMCC opens dog park in Hantsport

Ashley Thompson
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Brenda Simpson, Deb Lantz and Ron Such enjoy the new dog park in Hantsport with their four-legged friends Monty, Tilley and Finnigan.

Dogs now have a space to roam free in Hantsport.

The Hantsport Memorial Community Centre (HMCC) board announced the completion of an off-leash dog park at the corner of Highway 1 and Main Street on Dec. 16.

“We are delighted to announce the creation of another opportunity for community building and an active and healthy lifestyle for our neighbours. Fundraising plans are already in place to support this new facility,” said HMCC president Lorraine McQueen, in a press release.

Ron Such, first vice-president of the HMCC board, pitched the idea at an HMCC meeting a couple of months ago.

“There is not any of the 18 acres of recreational area that is used year round,” said Such in an interview.

The HMCC property — home to Churchill House — includes such seasonal attractions as a swimming pool, ball fields, walking track, tennis facility, basketball court and skating rink.

It didn’t take long for the public to take advantage of the HMCC group’s latest offering.

Even in the height of the storm that brought 15 to 20 centimetres of messy winter weather to the area on Dec. 15, dogs could be seen running through the field, playing with their owners and rolling in the snow.

It’s exactly what Such envisioned.

 “What I’m hoping is that it will promote physical activity for the owners and the dogs and…it will be a nice opportunity for people to meet other dog owners and dog lovers.”

Such says the fenced-in field designated for the dog park will be maintained by the Town of Hantsport, and users will be asked to follow a few simple rules to ensure everyone can enjoy their time at the park.

Hantsport Mayor Robbie Zwicker and CAO Rob Frost were included in the selection process when HMCC chose a plot of land for the park, Such added.

He says the HMCC board invites people from throughout the Annapolis Valley, and the province, to visit the off-leash zone.

“We’re also hoping that people from Windsor, Falmouth, Kentville and Wolfville will come and use the dog park,” he said.

Picnic tables will be brought in this spring to encourage people to pop in, have some lunch and stay awhile.

“We’re hoping that as people come into the Valley from Halifax that they’ll stop in Hantsport, have a picnic and exercise their dogs before they go into the Valley.”




Organizations: Churchill House, HMCC

Geographic location: Hantsport, Annapolis Valley, Windsor Falmouth Wolfville

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Recent comments

  • D.Read
    January 06, 2014 - 16:27

    What a wonderful addition to the Town of Hantsport! Kudos for a nicely designed addition to the grounds of the Churchill House.

  • David Old
    December 24, 2013 - 09:00

    Wot a wonderful idea & a great facility for dog owners to bring their pets out for a off leash run. This part of the HMCC property was only ever used once a year for overspill car parking on July 1st & now it can be used every day & all year round. I suspect there will be some outraged folks in Hantsport bemoaning this, that or other regarding this park but there will always be folks who don't like or want any change. In this world the only constant thing is change. Well done HMCC directors !

  • jack
    December 23, 2013 - 06:08

    My question is, how much money will this bring to an organization like HMCC who has no money they claim?

    • Woods
      December 23, 2013 - 09:55

      Hi Jack, it's not likely to make the HMCC any money. It COST a ton for that fencing and signage. They also lose a large part of the multi-use park to a specific use. If you read the article, the purpose of this and other changes proposed is to bring new visitors and residents to the town. The town itself will benefit from every new dollar spent here by visitors that may have passed by otherwise. Also, if you live here and have a dog that likes to run... the off-leash area is perfect. There is no other place in the area to do this. I don't know where they found the funds and don't care. They did it and it's great for everyone.

  • Woods
    December 22, 2013 - 18:53

    THANK YOU to the HMCC board and the Town for this excellent addition to the area. This is the kind of forward thinking that will bring more people to Hantsport over time as word spreads.

  • Lori
    December 22, 2013 - 11:15

    I now live in Ontario where we enjoy a dog park. There are a few things that people in Ontario have learned to make the park a success. #1.) small children should avoid it. Dogs at play plough into everyone and children get hurt. #2.) No food is allowed. With a group of dogs things get messy quick when dog or human food is brought in. #3.) Scoop the poop. Nothing takes the fun away like stepping in a big sticky mess. #4.) Animals should be fixed and vaccinated. Animals not fixed tend to be more aggressive and ruin everyone's time. Also disease spreads easily in a group of dogs. We love the park here and these rules to the dog park make it an enjoyable place for all. :)