As one of Sydney's most dog-friendly parks, there are many things you can do with your furry friend at Centennial Parklands to protect our natural environment.
It’s a regular sight at Centennial Parklands to come across a dog owner and their pet enjoying the greenery, especially as over 30% of the open space is designated off-leash. However, with the abundance of local wildlife and nature in the Parklands, there is still a need to protect them from curious pooches.
“The Parklands is committed to enhancing fauna and flora biodiversity, which includes educating park visitors and managing risks to sensitive areas,” explains Environmental Officer, Amara Glynn.
“The waterbirds and other ground birds in the park are vulnerable to being disturbed by unleashed dogs. Dogs are known to chase birds, which can lead to prolonged absences from the nest during nesting season. Unleashed dogs have also been observed to catch and kill birds or their chicks, so keeping dogs on-leash when around the ponds can help prevent these impacts.”
“Centennial Parklands is an amazing space for everyone to share and when dog owners follow the rules, we can provide areas for both recreation and wildlife," says Amara.
“The designation of off-leash, on-leash and dog-prohibited areas helps the Parklands to balance the needs of multiple public users and protect environmental sites. When dog owners are aware of the appropriate locations to enjoy off-leash dog exercise, such as Federation Valley or Moore Park West, it will ensure that conflict does not arise with other values including sport, environmental significance and heritage.”
For dog owner Gail, Queens Park is no doubt one of her favourite places to bring her pets. “We’ve lived near the park for forty years and use it all the time,” says Gail. “We’re in here every single day and have had dogs for twenty years who have enjoyed the Park.”
Being a local, she’s observed the many different visitors coming to Park with their pets and has her own tips to teach dog owners and carers new tricks:
• Be aware of your dog’s welfare.
“It’s really important to take your dog for a walk every day. Come rain, hail or shine, your dog needs the fresh air and the exercise. They’ve got to get out, meet the other dogs and socialise, which is something they can do at the Parklands.”
• Enjoy the off-leash areas and protect the natural environment.
“Queen’s Park is an off-lead Park which is a great facility. Not every park is off lead, so it's fantastic that the dogs are allowed to have more freedom. We moved closer to Queens Park because it meant our dogs could run around and it was so much better for them and us. I always look forward to my walk every day and seeing my dogs have fun at the Park.”
• Do the right thing.
“It's disappointing when people do the wrong thing, but most people don't which is comforting. But for the few who don't, I wish they'd pick up their dog poo bags rather than depositing them in the bush and ruining the natural environment. It’s easy to drop them off in a bin on the way out to protect the parks. Some dogs are also quick to dig up holes which ruins the grass, and creates a trip hazard, but luckily most dog owners are quick to do something about it.”
• Be in the moment.
“There are always people who walk in the park with their eyes on the phone, not observing or watching their dogs. Take the time to enjoy playing with your pet and the scenic environment around you. With so much nature around, it can do wonders for your mental health and you’ll get such quality time with your favourite animal.”
Thinking of bringing your dog to Centennial Parklands? Click here
to read our dog guide and discover more about where you can exercise your dog at the Parklands.