CONSTRUCTION has begun on Gawler Council’s new dog park in Clonlea Reserve.
Works on the $145,000 facility began last week, with the end product designed to include a 1.5-metre-high chain mesh perimeter fence, a bin and dog disposal bag, a drinking fountain with tilt dog bowl, logs, seating, a shelter and a fence line to separate big and small dog areas.
Gawler resident Matt Mitchell, who successfully applied for a $70,000 funding grant to go towards the project through the former State Labor Government’s Fund My Neighbourhood program last year, was excited to see the dog park come to fruition.
“The planning and the conceptual idea actually coming into something that you can now see is just fantastic,” he said.
“(My dog) Bear will be coming along (once it’s open), for sure.”
A picnic and barbecue area, and an adult fitness equipment station, are also set to be built alongside the dog park, as per Mr Mitchell’s vision.
“People are, generally, walking dogs, but I wanted to have it cover a more diverse range of the community, so while not everyone has a dog, you can still enjoy (it)…and be able to come out and do your fitness,” Mr Mitchell said.
Mr Mitchell praised council for its responsiveness in getting the project off the ground.
Gawler Mayor Karen Redman said council was hopeful of having the dog park completed by the end of July – or even next month, weather permitting.
“I think what’s so special about this project is somebody like Matt coming along with an idea and… council listens, we work together,” she said.
“Now, we’re going to have a great facility for the whole town, but also the whole region because, of course, with Hewett residents (living nearby), Light Regional Council residents are going to benefit from it, we’re going to benefit from it, and I think everybody wins.”
The initiative hasn’t been without its controversy, however, as community consultation on the project was tied in with a parallel discussion on a council proposal to tighten dog-leash regulations, which community members have largely opposed.
Councillors were divided on whether to approve the dog park at their April meeting, with four voting for the motion and four against it.
Mrs Redman had to use her casting vote to pass the motion.