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Long-established community’s calls for first dog park answered

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One of the Sunshine Coast’s oldest towns is set to get its first dog park, after residents called on council to provide a space for their pooches to exercise.

Yandina, established in the mid-19th century, will have a fenced off-leash facility, after $140,000 was allocated in the 2024-25 council budget.

The enclosure will be located within Tea Tree Park 1, on the eastern side of town, off Pioneer Road.

A council spokesperson said the facility would “encourage active and healthy lifestyles”.

They said it would “provide social and physical health for dogs and their owners”.

“It offers a large area for exercise, minimises the impact on the existing open spaces and takes advantage of the current infrastructure,” they said.

The Yandina off-leash area should have about 2000sqm of space. Picture: Shutterstock

The design will start soon and the park could be open by the middle of next year.

Locals were desperate for a dog park in town. The closest off-leash areas are about 20 minutes away at Nambour, Bli Bli and Coolum Beach.

They called on council to take action, which led to a community consultation period that included print, email and signage earlier this year.

About 95 per cent of respondents said they supported the development of a dog park. About 26 per cent said they would use it daily, 46 per cent said they would use it two to three times per week, and 22 per cent said they would use it weekly.

Tea Tree Park 1, beside the Yandina Historic House and a demolition yard. Picture: Nearmap

Yandina and District Community Association president Marie Reeve said the park would provide significant benefits, and not just to dogs.

“It’s a socialising opportunity for owners too,” she said.

“They can meet and chat while their dogs run and play.”

She said the town was rapidly growing and needed a dog park.

“The inner part of Yandina is becoming more intensely developed,” she said.

“There are lots of units going in and some that are soon to be built.

“The people who live there haven’t got backyards for their dogs to exercise.

“And while most of the properties in the older part of town are about 700sqm at least, they’re still not big enough for a lot of dogs to exercise.

Tea Tree Park 1 and 2 were among those considered for a dog park at Yandina.

“People have been calling for a dog park … and I think it will be good for the town.”

Yandina and its surrounds, including the likes of Valdora and Maroochy River, were home to about 9000 people in 2023.

Ms Reeve said most locals would be satisfied with the selected location, next to the Yandina Historic House.

“They do coffees and devonshire teas and light lunches there, so I think they might get a spinoff from having a dog park in the vicinity,” she said.

Multiple sites were suggested as options for a dog exercise area, including potential fenced parks at Wonga Park, Tea Tree Park 1, Tea Tree Park 2 and Stevens Street Reserve, and unfenced parks at Christina Low Park and Koongalba Street Park.

An example of how a council dog park could look.

Wonga Park and Tea Tree Park 1 ticked all the boxes, including strategic direction; low impact on existing open space; low impact on environment; low impact on residents; car parking available on street; car parking opportunities; and flood resistant. Tea Tree Park 1 ultimately selected because it was closer to the neighbourhood.

It will be an L-shaped park around the Valdora Earthmoving and Demolition yard.

Community consultation that led to the selected location also revealed that residents, families and children who did not wish to interact with dogs said they needed to feel comfortable knowing dogs are contained in a separate area.

Respondents also wanted separate and adequate proximity to playgrounds, barbecue and picnic areas, sports and family use areas. They wanted to ensure the safety and wellbeing of parks users.

They said the dog exercise area should consider noise impacts to adjacent residents and other users and they said access to car parking is important.

There are 46 dog exercise areas across the region: 19 fenced, 16 unfenced and 11 sections of beach.

The aerial imagery in this story is from Australian location intelligence company Nearmap. The company provides government organisations, architectural, construction and engineering firms, and other companies with easy, instant access to high-resolution aerial imagery, city-scale 3D content, artificial intelligence data sets, and geospatial tools to assist with urban planning, monitoring and development projects in Australia, New Zealand and North America.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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