It took a rather dogged effort to come up with a name for a park in Langley City on Monday, April 27, after several members of council decided one of their colleagues was barking up the wrong tree with his recommendation.
During a 15-minute discussion during the meeting, Councillor Dave Hall, who chairs the City’s Parks Environment Advisory Committee (PEAC), told council that committee members had come up with several options for naming the off-leash dog park, located under the Hydro transmission lines off 208 Street at 44 Avenue.
With a second dog park scheduled to open in the City this year, PEAC had been tasked with deciding whether a name was needed for the existing park and, if so, what it should be.
Noting that one suggestion, “Central Bark,” didn’t make the final cut, Hall offered the four names that had made PEAC’s short list: Uplands, Happy Tails, Dogwood Park and Pleasantdale Dog Park.
Hall recommended that council go with Dogwood Park — both because of the play on words and because of the dogwood’s significance as B.C.’s provincial flower — and the potential for the City to one day have its own arboretum in the park.
“In treeing, what used to be a wasteland, a Hydro cut … dogwoods, the symbol of British Columbia, could be added,” Hall said.
Naming the park gives it an identity rather than simply calling it dog park number one, or the very confusing Brookswood dog park, he added.
However, council quickly unleashed its veto power, with some members declaring the park’s name should reflect its neighbourhood — Uplands — and another questioning whether the green space even needed a name.
Councillor Rudy Storteboom said that while he appreciated the levity involved with naming a dog park, it is important that it be identified as a City of Langley park because it sits on the municipality’s border with the Township.
“I’m sorry I’m not as inspired as you about that name,” Storteboom told Hall.
Councillor Gayle Martin suggested the name Dogwood could cause confusion among emergency responders because it included no indication of where the park is located.
“I’m not in favour of naming it,” she said. “No matter what it’s called it’s going to be, ‘Up in the dog park in Brookswood.’”
“If I had a choice of these four names I’d call it Uplands, because that’s the neighbourhood it’s in.”
While questioning the need for a name, Martin noted that the sign at the park’s entrance clearly indicates it is located in the City.
She also wondered what it would cost to replace or change the six-foot sign.
City engineer Rick Bomhof said he would look into the costs, but added that any change to the park’s designation should be advertised.
“I’m not necessarily inspired by Dogwood,” said Councillor Paul Albrecht, while acknowledging the effort that PEAC put into the project.
“I’m more inclined to go with Uplands.
“I like the name Uplands,” said Mayor Ted Schaffer. “It states where it is and adds to neighbourhood promotion.
After Hall’s motion to adopt the name Dogwood Park failed — with only Hall in favour — Schaffer moved that the park be called Uplands Dog Park. The motion passed with Martin and Storteboom opposed.
A second Langley City dog park will open this year in Linwood Park. It is intended to cater to the owners of smaller dogs, who live in condominiums and townhouses — a growing number of which are being built in the City.