Penhurst Park *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Penhurst Park *Photo by Kageaki Smith
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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21: Three new dog parks where owners can let their pets run free are expected to open later this spring.

The fenced in areas are in the process of being cleared and built at locations in Warwick, Smiths and Devonshire.

Michael Weeks, Minister for Works and Engineering, told the Bermuda Sun that government was spending a total of $75,000 on the initiative that was outlined in the budget.

The parks will be established in Astwood Park North, Happy Valley Park and Penhurst Park.

Mr Weeks said: “We have tried to listen to the concerns of the island’s responsible dog owners and do something for them.

“They say there is no where that they can go on the island and let their dogs have a run off their leash.

“That is why we have come up with the idea of creating these three dog parks. They will be the size of football pitches and fenced in all the way around.

“There will also be ‘dogipot’ stations at each park for owners to clean up after their dog. The really important thing is that we still need dog owners to act responsibly and be responsible for their dogs.

“This is the first time this has been done in Bermuda so we will monitor closely how the parks work.”

Mr Weeks confirmed that the Parks Department would be responsible for maintaining the parks, but there were no plans to have staff on duty at each park on a daily basis.

The ring at the Botanical Gardens will remain a no-go zone for dogs.

Mr Weeks said: “By April 1 at least one of the parks will be open to the public.

Responsible

“These days in Bermuda there are a lot of people who have dogs and a lot of these owners act responsibly.

“There is just a small percentage of owners who have spoiled it for the rest. We very much hope this does not happen with the dog parks.

“People have to still be in control of their dogs while they are in the parks and clear up after them. It will be up to those who use them to determine whether this idea works well for everyone. We hope this initiative provides responsible owners with what they have been asking for, for some time.”