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Dogs vs baseball: Council to revisit fencing plan at Vernon park

A decision to erect fencing at Marshall Field between the dog park and baseball diamonds has proven contentious
A decision on whether to erect fencing between the ball diamonds at Marshall Field and the adjacent off-leash dog park will be back before council Monday, June 26, 2023, after dog owners cried foul about the idea of losing flat park space on which to walk their dogs. (City of Vernon photo)

Vernon council will be taking another look at a plan to erect fencing at Marshall Field between the baseball diamonds and an off-leash dog park after dog walkers cried foul over lost park space.

Coun. Akbal Mund is expected to introduce a reconsideration motion of the resolution passed June 12, which approved erecting a $45,000 fence at Marshall Field in Okanagan Landing to separate dog walkers from baseball players behind the two fenced diamonds, taking away land from the off-leash park.

The Vernon Baseball Association agreed to contribute $10,000 toward the fence.

Close to 30 residents turned up at city hall Monday, June 19, to protest council’s decision, saying the fence will take away the flat part of the dog park, where seniors walk their dogs, leaving a “field full of holes” for dog walkers to use.

The protesters were upset they were not consulted about the fence, adding they use the park every day of the year while baseball players are only there for several months of the year.

Vernon Baseball contends that not having a fence at the park has led to numerous adverse interactions between dogs and ball players, including dogs urinating on equipment, verbal abuse from a few dog owners and two serious incidents of dogs attacking ball players.

Council will review a proposed change to the plan at its next meeting Monday, June 26. The change would still see a fence erected, but with the exception that on the west side of the west ball diamond, the fence will run 12 metres away parallel from the current ball fields fencing, to alleviate the interaction between dogs in the off leash park and public spectator areas of the ball field.

The originally proposed fence would be 330 metres long and four feet high, installed along the edge of the main irrigated areas, which runs from the western end of the main baseball parking lot, southwest behind the two diamonds to the western corner of an existing fence well beyond the ball diamond.

READ MORE: Vernon Baseball pitches safety concerns in fence issue at field

READ MORE: Dog walkers cry foul over fence at Vernon park

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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