Despite the recent uproar over dog “caca” on North End baseball fields, a parent sends in these photos of dog owners continuing to use the ball fields to walk their pets despite “No Dogs” signs.

I let this one woman know dogs aren’t allowed on baseball fields. She said,”even if they just run around?”  I let her know all dogs poop when running around and even if she picks it up there is still poop that our kids roll around and get sick from. I pointed out the no dog signs and told her of nearby ok lawns. I took a picture of her since she stayed for a while after our conversation.

Spoke to another  woman who says she walks her dog here everyday. She showed me the paper towel she uses to pick up. As we discussed how poop is still leftover once picked up she told me sometimes she picnics on the field and has to move because of the dog poop smell. After our nice chat she stayed on the field walking her dog for ten more minutes. Poop on the diamond.

A nice man quickly moved off the field when I talked to him, noting that he missed the signs. We need more signs at the park entrances.

When is the park department follow up happening?

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31 COMMENTS

  1. I disagree with the ban on dogs. It’s obsessive to complain over “residual bits” that might still be clinging to bits of grass AFTER someone picks up after their dog.

    Parks should be public.

    For people with kids.
    For people with dogs.
    For ALL people.

    And if you bring your child out in the city…or anywhere on the planet, they may touch something dirty. They don’t live in bubbles. Any other kind of animal (bird, cat, squirrel, and the thousands of rats we ALL know live in the North End) may also releive themselves on the grass. And I also do not like the thought of someone appointing themselves the Park Patrol. You are not employed by the Parks Department.

    Do you recycle regularly?
    Do you always use crosswalks?

    I’d love to follow you around for a day and point out where you dont follow every sign, law, social norm.

    • Alison,

      There is difference you don’t seem to get.

      Parks= Public for everyone
      Ballfields= just for people

      There wouldn’t be such an uproar if common courtesy was followed. While playing baseball kids dive for balls and balls roll all over the field. This makes children sick. If something was making your dog sick and it could be addressed I bet you would expect that it was.

      Living in a city requires people to work together if that city is to be a great place to live for EVERYONE. Why is it so much to ask that dogs stay off the ball fields?

      • Jennifer….well said.

        Alison…dogs are not people and have no rights to play on the ball fields or in the tot lots. You need to get a grip on reality and stop behaving like you are entitled to whatever you want.You need to learn to respect the members of the community, even the ones you call the self appointed park patrol people. A caring community that looks out for trash and dog caca and drunks peeing off of roofs or in doorways and muggers and the children and each other is what makes the North End the safest neighborhood in Boston and a very special place to live.

        • I am a dog owner, that doesn’t use the fields, but uses the harbor walk around the fields and I think dog owners are getting a lot of blame when there a far greater issues with the parks in the North End.

          If we are going to pick on dog owners then lets make sure its fair, lets start taking pictures and posting them here of the parents and their kids that leave half eaten food, pudding cups, juice boxes, water bottles, beer bottles, candy, candy wrappers, and cigarettes, overflowing trash cans on the walk ways around the fields. Don’t tell me its tourist either, I see the same people doing it all the time.

          The same people that complain about the dogs are most likely the same people that probably do this and more importunely allow their older kids to gather by the dozens behind the fields and ice rink on a nightly basis to underage drink, smoke, smoke pot, publicly urinate on the the buildings and break the empty beer bottles on the walk ways.

          As for the fields, you conveniently missed posting the picture of the sign at the entrance to fields by the coast guard that says parks are to be used and enjoyed by all, please keep your dogs on lease, and pick up after them, and don’t leave trash. If you entered the fields from this entrance you wouldn’t see this sign and not the no dogs at the other end. Which sign is right? We dog owners use the harbor walk and fields 3+ times a day 365 days a year, you use the fields a couple times a week for an hour or two, couple times a week for three months. Who really has more right to use the parks and fields?

          The long term solution would be to turn one field into an enclosed dog park, make people buy permits to use in order to pay for upkeep and enforcement. Then have a DCR/Police patrol to enforce dog park permit and also keep watch of park for people that leave thrash and keep the underage kids in check. I would say make the fines high for both and then everyone can just relax and enjoy one of the greatest areas in Boston!

  2. I still personally think this should be a productive conversation – I am trying to do this but don’t think others here are…. I fully support adding dog parks to the North End and am personally working to do so at the Gassy. I am a little frustrated because I can’t get any dog owners to help me pursue this. We all have to work together to make the city liveable for all of us. That’s why people have traditionally moved to the suburbs.

    This conversation has become too divisive and unproductive for me to continue to be a part of – attitudes like those here will not generate solutions. I personally really like dogs and kids and think there should be places here for both, like in NYC, but am interested in helping come up with solutions, not being around festering negativity. I’ll just work to do something else for the neighborhood that I love.

    • Jennifer: Where in the newly renovated Gassy that is heavily used by little kids , school aged kids and adults playing sports and for summer Wednesday night movies do you think there should be a dog park? Why not ask to use the park on RIchmond St that runs back into North Sq? It is not used except by people with dogs anyway.

      I won’t even touch the ridiculous idea of turning the little league field or the large baseball field into a dog park.

      • The large second level flight should be bulldozed and the brick replaced with grass. it is large and fenced in pretty much. An absolute win win for the neighborhood.

        • But….people actually use the flights to walk down the steps to get from the top of Hull/Snow Hill St to Prince St and to the Gassy proper. And it is a winter sledding place for the neighborhood kids. It is a win for the dog owners but not so much for the whole neighborhood. I still think the little park on Richmond Street near the tunnel is a de facto dog park anyway. The back lawn of Christopher Columbus park near Atlantic Ave and Tias could EASILY be fenced in for a dog park. It was proposed over 10 yrs ago but the waterfront dog owners wanted poochie to run amuck in the front part of the park and I would bet $ that the FOCCP people would fight to keep it this way.

  3. The bottom line (and this isn’t rocket science) is we need a dog park. Pretty much every other neighborhood in this city has a fenced in designated area where the dogs can run around. When you really look at it, we have a lot of park space here. Wouldn’t everyone be happy then?

    If there’s a petition, I’d like to sign it. If there isn’t I’ll draw one up myself and sit in the parks to get signatures.

    As for the fields… I wouldn’t let children roll around in that grass whether there were dogs running around or not. That whole area is filled with puke, broken glass, trash and probably needles. Let’s crack down on that too while we’re at it, shall we?

  4. Jennifer McGivern’s statement about the flights being all heroin all the time is egregious and mendacious BS. Underage drinking sure. Pot smoking…most likely. Heroin all the time ..NFW.

    • Unfortunately, Joyce, it seems you haven’t been over to the gassy flights in a while and definitely not in the evenings. It is a major major major problem. I live very nearby and people come in to buy heroin and do it in the park. Early evening the flights are for teenagers hanging out, usually drinking, later smoking pot and breaking the bottles drank from earlier, and then later heroin, sleeping and crapping in the gassy. I have notified the authorities and call them about suspicious vehicles all the time. Part of the problem is that when you respond to the bottom of the gassy, they flee out the top. If you respond to the top, they flee out the bottom. Putting money into this area and making a nice dog park would make it used so much more often and it would be taken over from the users. It would have to be cleaned up first – there are way too many needles and broken bottles there now. That is why I call it a win win solution for the neighborhood. I also support the back lot at Christopher Columbus Park being turned into a dog park.

  5. Joyce – get out of your bubble. Needles are found around the waterfront and the Gassy. I’ve personally found two needles (and an open switchblade knife at the baseball field which I threw out; you’re welcome kiddos). I can assure you, these needles are not for diabetics.
    While the North End is certainly a ‘special place to live’, it’s also one of the durtiest neighborhoods in Boston and that’s certainly not because of the dogs. Too many tourists, too little trash recepticles, no sidewalk cleaning, too much trash and homeless people/rats picking through it, too much food left on the streets and at the parks by the very people who live there, etc. As many have said here, let’s spend our time and money where it counts.

    • Sarah
      FYI… I do not live in freaking bubble and you have a lot of nerve saying that to someone you have never met. I have lived in the North End for over 25 yrs and I am well aware of the drug and other issues in this neighborhood. I was an original Board member of North End Against Drugs, a founding member of the original NEW Joint Public Safety Committee, an elected member of the North End Waterfront neighborhood Council for six years, and a co-founder and Co Chairman of the North End National Night Out Block Party for 8 yrs.

      My point was and is that for someone to say that the only thing happening in the flights is heroin is ludicrous. Booze, pot and raging teenage hormones absolutely flow through the flights on an almost nightly basis. If you or Jennifer or anyone else has PROOF that there is heroin activity in the flights by the teens or anyone else, you should be providing it to the Area A police and not throwing it away. or making blanket statements with no basis in reality in a neighborhood blog.

      • Joyce- I too have found needles down there. And if you think I’m touching them- you’re nuts. But people’s kids will… Unfortunately the North End Against Drugs Committee and the Public Safety Committee aren’t getting the job done. The residents have been complaining about that area for a long time, and nothing has changed. We’ve asked for additional patrol… yet the trash, beer cans, debris, and yes…needles are still there each and every week. Personally, I’m more worried about children picking up dirty needles than walking by a piece of dog poop.

      • Discovering needles is reality, didn’t make that one up and there’s no way in hell I’m picking those up and providing to Area A police. Just because you haven’t personally seen a needle doesn’t mean it’s not reality. I’m not the only one who has seen these needles either. No one is claiming that the ONLY thing happening in the flights is heroin so not sure where you got that. Agreed, that would be ludicrous. Since the construction started last summer, I’ve noticed less partying there and more at the waterfront which is an absolute disaster. Beer cans, glass in the grass and on the sidewalks where the CHILDREN walk, food left behind from the little leaguers and Sunday bocce tournaments, several broken benches, human feces, etc., as you’re very well aware.
        My point is, there are far more pressing issues in the neighborhood that are not being addressed, or being addressed well at least. Since you’re on these boards I expect that you have some insight on what is being done to address these issues. I’m moving out of the North End due to the lack of action to clean the neighborhood up and I have lived here for years.

        • The bottom line is that there are dog parks in Southie, the South End, several in Cambridge and Brookline… The North End has zero excuses as to why there is not one, we have so many parks. I’d happily take my dog to the dog park because I don’t want my dog walking through the trash and debris, and I can’t imagine letting children do so. Vin, Vic…whatever his name is… does he let the kids near the broken glass, the sleeping homeless people (RIGHT next to the fields), and the beer cans? He spends so much time down there, he certainly can not have missed that.

          • So according to your Yuppie logic;

            1. There is no leash law and

            2. I’m suppose to solve your problems beyond protecting my children~players on the baseball field.

            Let me guess, you grew up in the suburbs, right ?

            Get your own dog park on your on dime and time and stay off the inner city kids BB field.

          • Vin, I’m going to set this straight as it seems you are missing the point. You started this complaint about dogs on the baseball fields. The points being made are that there are far more concerning issues in that area and the North End in general. These issues are most CERTAINLY posing risk to the children, which is the primary focus of your point. You have caused this ‘uproar’ and now time and money is being spent on a seemingly low priority issue when you look at the overall picture.
            The issues I’ve brought up, along with others on these boards, are the issues affecting EVERYONE: you, children, tourists, residents, not just dog owners. I don’t disagree that dogs should be leashed and people should pick up after their dog. That’s part of being a responsible dog owner fpr which I’m a strong advocate. I do agree with the commenters that a dog park needs to be designated in the neighborhood. That would likely resolve your relentless complaint about people using the fields to let their dogs play. It shouldn’t have to be something that only dog-owners want since it would benefit the greater community.
            Plain and simple: you’ve raised an issue that only affects a small subset of the community.
            By the way, it doesn’t matter where anyone is from or if they’re a yuppie. Those are moot points. These people live in the neighborhood, pay taxes and have just as much a right to voice an opinion as the long-time residents.

        • Vincent,

          Is Puopolo Park a DCR run facility? If so, that comes from State Funding and grants… I spoke with the DCR because as a Yuppie I believe in doing my research before speaking.

          The State taxpayers (oh wait, yes that is me… and you… and everyone else) pay for more than 3/4 of the DCR’s yearly funding. Currently their budget is around 71 million for the year in which 14.5 million comes from “private fundraising”. That means the rest comes from state taxpayers.. many of them “yuppies”.

          So the children- that I don’t have, play on those fields on my dime, and yours and everyone elses. (I’m glad to contribute to these things, children should have fields to play on- and yes they should be safe doing it). I’m stating that since i am contributing to those on my dime, then I have EVERY right to suggest a park that half the community can enjoy. Because whether you like it or not, it is a very dog friendly neighborhood, and it is probably not going to change.

          Make sense? And for the record, I don’t bring my dog on the fields… but since it’s on my dime, I have a right to state my opinion just like you did.

          • Since when did I suggest that you shouldn’t suggest a dog park?

            Good luck, get your own DOG park, with your own effort. I’m not responsible for your dog. You are.

            Until then, leash your dog and stay off the baseball fields.

          • Vin,

            I believe before I open my mouth to raise an issue, I also bring a proposed solution. Because, that is what adults do.

            And again, hate to be redundant, my dog is NEVER on the fields and NEVER off leash. We deal with the back area behind the fields with all of the issues that we raised above. All of which pose a threat to the children’s safety that are playing around there. If you are complaining about the dogs, you should also be concerned of the other issues at that park. I hope you are… its your kids.

    • Also- if I mis-quoted and it is the Boston Parks and Recreation that maintains and is responsible for the park… doesn’t matter. Still on ‘my dime’

  6. OBVIOUSLY BEING A YUPPIE DOES NOT MEAN YOU KNOW HOW TO READ, UNDERSTAND THE USE OF THE PAST TENSE AND YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT BEING RUDE IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE A POINT.

    LETS CLEAR THIS UP … JENNIFER MCGIVERN STATED THAT THERE WAS JUST HEROIN GOING ON IN THE FLIGHTS IN RESPONSE TO MY COMMENT THAT KIDS USE THE FLIGHTS FOR SLEDDING IN THE WINTER. I DISAGREE.

    I HAVE SEEN PLENTY OF NEEDLES IN THE NORTH END AND CALLED THEM IN TO THE POLICE FOR REMOVAL. NOBODY SUGGESTED YOU PICK UP THE NEEDLES. YOU SHOULD REPORT THEM AND NOT JUST WHINE ABOUT IT.

    I KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD THAN YOU ALL DO. I LISTEN AND TALK TO PEOPLE AND CALL THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES WHEN I HEAR OR SEE SOMETHING THAT IS NOT RIGHT. WHY DON’T YOU STOP WHINING AND POSTING THIS BS AND START GOING TO COMMUNITY MEETINGS AND CALLING THE POLICE OR THE MAYOR’S HOTLINE WHEN YOU FIND NEEDLES AND TRASH OR WHATEVER ELSE THAT OFFENDS YOU.

    DOWNLOAD THE CITIZENS CONNECT APP FOR YOUR I PHONE OR ANDROID AND SEND A PICTURE TO PEOPLE WHO CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. BTW….THERE IS A CITY REGULATION ABOUT DOG PARKS AND YOU ARE ALL GOING TO BE SURPRISED WHEN YOU LEARN ABOUT IT.

    AND BTW…I INTENTIONALLY USED CAPS.

    • Hi Joyce,

      Someone in my household does indeed attend the community meetings. And we have called the mayor’s office on more than once occasion, to voice concerns etc. I will not however, call the police at every little thing that I see that is “wrong”. We have reported the issues going on, but to call the police every time I find a needle on the ground behind the baseball fields would be a waste of taxpayers money. If there was a regular patrol down there, that would not be.

      I understand there are regulation/zoning laws, I believe that is the case in every neighborhood, city, state…. But I’m sorry, there must be some sort of compromise. Are we going to learn more about this in the next community meeting? I’m sure that there could be a bigger and better turn out so that we could all discuss this in person vs. an online forum. That way, everyone’s opinions can be voiced… not just yours and mine.

      I work hard just like everyone else in this neighborhood… if I was a yuppie, well then I’d live in Back Bay in a 4,000 a month brownstone. This is not a yuppie neighborhood… take a walk through Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the South End (excluding BMC area). You’ve been here for 25 years, you know better than that.

    • Joyce –
      Who is a yuppie here?? LOL. Interesting coming from the person who jumped on me for implying something about you though not knowing you. Your use of caps and your responses to nearly every comment in these articles have been quite abrasive. Not to mention, commenting on my supposed lack of understanding in the use of past tense; yet, you use the word caca to describe feces. I would have to read through every comment here to know what you’re referring to with Jen’s response saying it’s the only thing that happens at the flights. Perhaps it’s a bit of an overstatment but it’s certainly consistent enough to be quite noticeable and a valid concern.
      Calm down and just realize people are raising real issues in response to a complaint to the misuse of the parks and cleaniness (for which dogs are being blamed). Vin’s point that kids get sick from diving into leftover tidbits of dog feces is absurd. He should be more concerned with the geese that roam those fields.
      This is a community site, which serves multiple purposes including, but not limited to, making people aware of the issues. This is certainly not whining. I find it appalling that you feel we are whining about the REAL problems in this neighborhood. Is that how you react when this is brought up in the community meetings in which you are so apparently involved? Your outlash is concerning, to say the least.
      To your point about calling the mayor’s office, ‘been there/done that’ many times and I’m not the only one. I’ve also called the police on the teens who party at the waterfront. Admittedly, I have not been to any community meetings but I promise you, it’s not for a lack of desire to get involved. Not everyone has the type of schedule that lends that level of community involvement.

      • You know what …I give up. This is an exercise in mental masturbation. This is a yuppie neighborhood with $2000/mo + one bedroom apartments and $2400 +/mo 2 bedrooms and $3500/mo three bedrooms. If you can find a $4000/mo brownstone in Back Bay go for it. A yuppie is a Young Urban Professional which based on all of your FB profiles you appear to be. Doesn;t matter if you work hard or not. As to my so called outlash….well…when someone like Jennifer says an outrageously stupid thing like all that goes on in the flights is heroin…I get a little testy. And when someone insults me about something they THINK I said without actually reading it … well…I am not going to let it slide. I do not really care if you are concerned or not by something I say. It is a community blog and I have just as much right to express my opinion as anybody else. There are far more important issues in this neighborhood than a dog park and the people who want to take over a baseball field. Enjoy the Back Bay

        • Joyce, why would you attack me so directly and aggressively? I, like you, care very much for this neigjborhood and work very hard to make positive change. I responded hastily because i was disyracted by my two children about there only being heroin on the flights but your comment that children sled there was out of date and unhelpful. You still have only claimed one other use for the flights which is walking through them….

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