2 September 2023

Franklin dog park step closer as government seeks builder

| Ian Bushnell
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Chris Steel and dog

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel and new best friend at the Franklin dog park site last October. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Dog owners in Gungahlin will welcome the release of a tender for the construction of the proposed off-lead dog park in Franklin.

The ACT Government identified the site on the corner of Nullarbor Avenue and Oodgeroo Avenue last year, along with another for the south of the Territory in Gordon.

Originally intended to be 3000 to 4000 square metres in size, the Franklin park had to be scaled back to 2870 square metres due to the future ICON stormwater upgrade nearby.

Enviro Links Design designed what is now being called a small boutique suburban dog park that includes irrigated grass, agility areas with a variety of obstacles, a looped path, seating, low plantings and shady trees.

“This is smaller than what’s typically allowed for; however, the amenity that is provided throughout the park should be seen as a far more valuable asset than a higher spatial yield,” the tender document says.

It says the site provides great access to the existing principal community route to the south and Franklin Recreation Park to the north.

The area’s canines can look forward to a range of activities including a high bar jump, weave poles, two hoop tunnels, timber hurdle, balancing log and boulders to scramble over.

The concept plan shows a car park with seven spaces, including two for people with disabilities, but there is potential to extend it more spaces are required.

master plan of dog park

The concept design for the Franklin dog park shows what it will look like. Image: Envirolinks Design.

The entry will be from Nullarbor Avenue and its construction will require the removal of three existing verge trees, but two will be replanted as offsets.

The park itself will have two entries, one off the Oodgeroo Avenue pedestrian network and the other from the car park on Nullarbor Avenue, which will also pick up pedestrians from the main path in the open space corridor.

When announcing consultation for the Franklin and Gordon dog parks in October, Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel said the park would also have drinking fountains and a gravel area that could accommodate a coffee cart.

He also said the trees would be deciduous varieties.

The Franklin facility will bring the number of dog parks in Gungahlin to three. Parks are already operating in Casey and Forde.

Mr Steel said Canberra already had many off-lead areas but many dog owners wanted to socialise their dogs in a fenced area.

“We have one of the highest ownership rates in the country in the ACT and so, as the population grows, we’re seeing even more dogs and we know that good opportunities to exercise dogs are important for animal welfare and we want to provide those spaces,” Mr Steel said.

Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on Riotact.

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