Sara’s Freedom Dog Park

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The idea of Sara’s Freedom Dog Park is to create a dog park in the Town of Cochrane that is an safe off-leash area for dogs to play. We are looking to raise around $10,000 for fencing, garbage bins, trees, play equipment/structures and signage. Building a small parking lot for community members who live out of town is also in our plan in the near future depending on funds. We are hoping to break ground in the early spring of 2015 for construction and hoping with lots of volunteers to have it open and ready for public use by July. We got over 325 signatures on our petition to ask for the land of the dog park and we are sure even more will use it once it opens.
Background: Sara Bernier at ten years old approached Town Council of Cochrane Ontario in 2013 for some land and permission to build an off-leash dog park. It has been Sara’s dream to open up a dog park in Cochrane for a few years and finally decided it was time. Sara worked hard and obtained 325 signatures for her petition to build a dog park. After Town Council approved her idea she went to work to find the perfect location. She assembled a Dog Park Committee of committed adults to aid in her dream. With lots of hard work and dedication the perfect location was found. Now that we have a location that is a safe, accessible, provides lots of running space, and has great visual interest for the dog park, the committee can now start raising funds. Sara believes in giving back to her community and opening up a dog park is a great way to start! Sara wants a park that is safe with a double gate entrance and provide interesting equipment for the dogs to play on.The dog park would create a wonderful wealth of benefits to the dogs, their guardians, and the community. Dog parks allows dogs to exercise and socialize safely, as well as providing an outlet for dog owners to socialize. The love people share for their dogs reaches beyond economic and social barriers and helps foster a sense of community. Dogs who are well-exercised are better neighbours who are less likely to create a nuisance, bark excessively and destroy property. Having the Dog Park located in a central part of Town would encourage users to get out and get active while walking their dogs.
Mission: To provide an accessible off-leash area for dogs and their guardians to exercise and socialize in a safe environment while promoting responsible dog ownership.
Impact: Everyday many dogs can be seen walking around Lake Commando in Cochrane. Some points of the walk can become dangerous as the sidewalk is very close to the road. With an off – leash dog park the dogs will be a safe distance from any busy traffic and will be in a safe enclosed area for them to wander and play in with no worries.
Sustainability: The dog park committee along with volunteers and the Town of Cochrane will all work hand in hand to make sure that the park is maintained for many years to come.
About Sara: Sara an 11 year old who is very community minded and hard working. Sara is a part of the Girl Guide Association and is currently working towards her Lady Baden Powell Award. She can be found volunteering for a number of activities and events. From the day she was born she was always so kind and caring to animals of all kinds. Didn’t matter what the dog looked like she still found them cute and wanted to rescue them. She wants to be a vet when she grows up, but says she wont be able to put an animal down. Sara grew up with dogs all her life and wouldn’t change that a bit as it has made her who she is and makes her want to do what she is doing now for the dogs. With her love for animals and the outdoors what could be better than opening up a Dog Park in her home town!



FLorence Carlyle ~ My Inspiration

For as long as I could remember, Florence Carlyle has been my most favourite artist. Florence was born in Galt, Ontario in 1864 and moved to Woodstock, Ontario in 1867 where she took her first art classes under Paul Peel. Moved she moved from Woodstock to study in France. She came back to Woodstock and opened a studio where she taught art. After she continued to travel and open up other studios. She moved to England in 1912 and sold paintings for the Red Cross during the first World War. She remained in England and died in 1923.
Being born and raised in Woodstock myself, I grew up going to the art gallery where the largest collection of Florence Carlyle paintings are kept. I loved visiting the numerous exhibitions and I always checked out the Florence Carlyle room every time. The Woodstock Art Gallery has since moved to a larger more central location and features the Carlyle Gallery on the first floor. If you would like to know more information about the Woodstock Art Gallery you can visit their website at
I couldn’t imagine the barriers Florence had to go through to become a significant female professional artist. With self-determination and an independent spirit she was able to achieve this.


The Tiff

The Tiff