To the dogs

This Chris Churchill column is first and foremost about the ongoing dog poop problem at Capital Hills. But it also gets at a potentially more interesting question about how the golf course should be used in the winter, and whether certain uses should be restricted in favor of others. [TU]

Earlier: It's winter. Your dog has pooped. What now?


I read Churchill's column with interest this morning. I was unaware of this new "public-private partnership" with an entity called the Nordic/ParaNordic Center at Capital Hills. (Until last year when my dog Mia died, I was a regular presence at Capital Hills in all seasons.) I am somewhat uneasy about "public-private partnerships" in general, especially when I don't know who is calling the shots. I was relieved to read the very strong statement from the City that dogs will continue to be welcome at the golf course. It's also great that a group is making cross-country skiing more available to more people by renting equipment and grooming some trails.

But should it be "Olympic class"? Well, no. As someone who lives in that neighborhood, I think the value of Capital Hills off season is that it's open to all kinds of users, 7 days a week. It functions as a city park. Children sledding, dogs dashing about, and, hey, sorry if my boot print wrecked your ski trail, but I don't have to stick to the golf cart path as I enjoy nature. If Capital Hills were to become truly a "tourist attraction" and "economic asset" it could get into entrance fees and competitions and restricting access to the general (tax paying) public. Just like golf season. Maybe I am not "thinking big," but I think winter Capital Hills is already a jewel for the enjoyment by all and we don't need Olympic class aspirations.

(Of course, dog owners should clean up after their dogs and keep unruly ones under control. I'm sure I cleaned up a ton of other dogs' poop just to insure dogs continued to be welcome there.)

I agree about people not cleaning up I always trek through the snow to clean up and of course find everyone else's dog mess.

Beyond that I think things should stay as they are. This is the only place in the area that you can bring your dog off leash. There are plenty of other places to cross country ski.

The vast majority of people that go to the golf course for all sorts of reasons all get along. I will continue to walk with a dog along the newly named Nipper's Way.

I've been skiing the golf course for 20 years and think it is a wonderful asset to the city. I've often thought that Muni could be better developed to include ski and snowshoe rentals along with winter refreshments geared towards people who are looking for a quick warmup apres ski. That being said, I found the newly named trails, and their demand that dogs and walker stay off of them, to be less than welcoming and the availability of rental equipment does not seem to have been widely promoted.

I love being able to take my dog skiing with me and am convinced it is his favorite place on earth to romp and play. I, too, am dismayed when I see piles of poop and wish that all pet owners would be responsible. Maybe a few more trash receptacles and bag dispensers might help?

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