Health & Environment

New Playground Game at the Gassy: Swing Around the Dog Poop

Margie S. writes in:

Grandkids just came back from the Gassy and they said “Too much dog poop to play!” Where the swings are, loaded with it. Why can’t dog owners pick up? It was really disgusting – no exaggeration! Beautiful day ruined by this…

The photo above was taken on Saturday afternoon, March 7, 2014.

42 Replies to “New Playground Game at the Gassy: Swing Around the Dog Poop

  1. Who let’s their dog poop in a playground?!!! These disgusting dog owners – make all of us dog owners look irresponsible. Let’s put cameras up in the gassy and “out” these pigs. Unbelievable. Stop being so lazy and bend over and pick up after your dog. Btw, I saw a man with a small white fluffy dog left his dog’s poops in the tunnel between Fulton and Commercial recently. Let’s write up these people when we see them littering our neighborhood. Hold them responsible for making our neighborhood their pig stye.

    1. This is an excellent idea. Using technology for a useful purpose. Sad, that such people exist.They have no regard for their neighbors or the people, who have to clean up after them. Ruff, works tirelessly, to educate dog owners and does the clean up that’s not left behind by their members. Dog debris is even more serious than the trash issue.

      Use your smart phone camera’s to capture these creeps. Mayor Walsh and our local politicians need to be made aware of this total disregard for the community. It’s also a health issue. This issue deserves the same attention, as parking violations.

      The Ruff Group should be brought in as an advisory committee. We all deserve to enjoy our precious Green Space free from such disgusting obstacles.

      See something say something. Capture those despicable moments.

      Michele Brogan

  2. Margie S. Thanks for the update on the park. Good of you to share and bring this issue to the fore. I plan to take my kids elsewhere because of the dog poop.

    1. Looking the other way isn’t the answer. The situation will only get worse and needs to be addressed.NOW

  3. how hard is it to buy those poop bags they make specially for poop they are small and discrett if you don’t want to use the plastic bags that the stores give out? some people shouldn’t have dogs seriously! oh the exuce there was snow? hello just pick it up.. I must be a nut job because I even carry a small spray bottle of bleach n water when its gets warm out to spary after my dog poops and pees.. why should my neighbors smell that? I wanted the dog its my responsibility..some people don’t deserve a dog ..if you cant pick up the poop don’t have one..its not all cuteness having a dog

  4. forget the fact that the lazy dog owners do not pick up the dog crap, there is a sign at the entrance to the playground,”NO DOGS ALLOWED”. also, there are signs on the fence for the children’s playgrounds, “NO DOGS ALLOWED”. does every dog owner have to go back to school to learn how to read! Dogs aren’t supposed to be in the playground at all!!! These offenders just do not care about anyone but themselves. Even the owners who do pick up, “NO DOGS ALLOWED ” in the gassy!!!

    1. It’s not “No Dogs Allowed” in the park…it’s “No Dogs Allowed” in the playground areas or on the basketball courts. Dogs are 100% allowed around the grass areas and walking paths in the park. The entire park is not forbidden for dogs. I don’t get your mindset at all. Do not make it seem like us responsible owners are being irresponsible by stepping foot in the Gassy. Why don’t you address the drug dealers in the park, instead? Or the people who like to do drugs in the park? If I were a parent I’d be nervous about them stepping on needles or inhaling marijuana fumes (or whatever you’d call it). I wouldn’t be complaining about the responsible dog owners who are picking up poop but walking their dogs around the places where they’re 100% allowed to be.

      1. No dogs should be allowed where children are playing…period. Unfortunately, dog owners are only as good as the worst one. One irresponsible dog owner reflects badly on every dog owner because every person walking a dog then becomes a “suspect”.

        I can’t look at a dog owner and decide if they are responsible or not so after looking at all of the droppings and the yellow snow all over the neighborhood, I suspect everyone.

      2. Well it looks like responsible dog owners have to start taking the irresponsible owners to task. I appreciate dog owners like you and groups like RUFF, but this is out of hand. However, its not only the playgrounds and parks, just last week I was walking down Prince Street and a tourist stepped in a pile of dog poop. he was not happy and I was quite embarrassed. Having lived here all my life I now learned to watch my step, but it is both gross and unsanitary to have to go through an obstacle course of bio landmines walk in your own neighborhood.

        I wonder if Matt and the Regional Review would start posting photos of dog poop offenders? Maybe these ignorant dog owners can be shamed. But so far it doesn’t seem like they have any!


      3. Nobody is complaining about RESPONSIBLE dog owners who clean up after their dogs. The problem is the ignorant irresponsible dog owners who think the fenced in children’s play areas are their private dog parks and that someone else besides their selfish privilaged self should clean up after them. Unfortunately, in the gassy, the responsible pet owners are outnumbered by the pigs. You are far too defensive to make anyone believe you are one of the responsible ones especially by trying to deflect this problem onto the drug use problem which is a completely different issue.

        1. JES – “You are far too defensive to make anyone believe you are one of the responsible ones especially by trying to deflect this problem onto the drug use problem which is a completely different issue.” I don’t appreciate that. Why do you have to accuse me of being irresponsible? What does that accomplish? I’m responding to MC who said “Even the owners who do pick up, “NO DOGS ALLOWED ” in the gassy!!!”… It’s not “No Dogs Allowed” in the Gassy. How am I being too defensive?

          By mentioning the drug dealers/drug use in the Gassy, which I do think drug dealers would be more dangerous than dog poop – as with drugs often comes crime, I’m bringing up other points that perhaps should have more focus. And by more focus, I mean less focus on those of us who responsibly walk our dogs on grass in the Gassy where it’s not fenced in for a children’s playground. Why fight and insult responsible dog owners who do the right thing? How is that productive? I’m a responsible North End resident and I don’t appreciate the accusations online or the evil stares I get while walking around my neighborhood from people who assume I’m an irresponsible person just because others are bad. For me, I don’t judge a whole group based on the few (or many – yes, I know there’s lots of poop) irresponsible ones. I ask that you not pass judgement on everyone, as well.

          Let’s work together, not pick away at each other. Wouldn’t that be more effective? And why is it that the anonymity of the internet brings out such intense accusations? It’s not going to ease tensions between non-dog owners and dog-owners.

  5. No Dogs Allowed means nothing around this neighborhood. There are dogs in the tennis courts, dogs on the ball fields, and since we have had many a picnic ruined by dogs off leash, we do not go to Columbus park anymore. It is a disgrace.
    “Watch where you walk” becomes the family chant.

  6. Seeing this post is extremely discouraging. We at RUFF have spent the winter working hard to keep areas clean. This time of year is always a problem but we had hoped with reminders and our clean-ups that others would catch on and be responsible. The “Gassy” has been an on going problem area. We have recently posted a new poop bag dispenser in the area, along with RUFF signs. We are sad someone was so inconsiderate to the neighborhood by letting their dog in this children’s play area and on top of that no picking up after their dog. This gives us all a bad rap.

    We at RUFF believe that any area that is for children should be 100% off limits for dogs. For saftey and health reasons. This is why we have been working hard this winter lobbying our proposal for a legal, safe, off leash dog park on Parcel 12. This week we will be presenting this proposal to the neighborhood at the NEWRA meeting. Bringing a dog park to our neighborhood would help eliminate the number of dogs from the various communal parks we have here in the North End. Please come and support us in this quest, we truly believe this will be a benefit to our neighborhood. We understand this will not solve all the dog problems, irresponsible owners will always exist, but we know that it will bring real improvements.

    1. RUFF,

      I absolutely support and new dog park in this area. It’s long overdue and certainly needed. However, I hate having to point out the obvious, but “technically” we already have dog park off Richmond St that I do see getting used, but not by a lot of dog owners. I get that it’s small. I get that it’s not full of grass, but… Even with a new bigger dog park on parcel 12, this neighborhood will still have dog poop everywhere and dogs will still be in children’s playground areas. It’s not the responsible dog owners that are the issue; it’s the irresponsible ones. They will still let their dogs go everywhere without picking it up and they still won’t bother taking their dogs to the dog park. I wish a new dog park would change all of that, but call me skeptical. All that negativity aside, I personally appreciate all the hard work your organization is doing and sincerely hope you get a new cool dog park!

  7. I am now a outter towner .. there are 3 dog parks in the city were I live and if you are not a responsible pet owner don’t waste the citys money..the dog park near my house is disgusting with dog poop all over it and many dogs have caught stomach issues from the poop.. if you get a dog park my recomemdation is have plenty of bags for the poop nd a camera for the slobs who leave the poop// dogs are beautiful creatures from god and bring so much joy to many of us..the dog popper who leaves the poop shouldn’t have the joy of owning a dog they aren’t ornamental things .. and people hate dogs because of the poop that’s most beaches and mdc ponds there is a no dog season from april 31 till September 31.,. dogs are not allowed there period.. and if im there off season and a dog poops and the owner non chanatly walks away my big north end mouth comes out and I say excuse me you left your dogs poop there.. talk aboutignorance.. good luck to the dog problem..

  8. No one is blaming the responsible dogs owners, but as I stated 2 kids wanting to swing at the Gassy but found the smell and site rather disgusting.The swing area is off limits for any dogs, period. The city just repaired the Gassy a few years ago! Take a look for yourself -very disturbing.

  9. First of all it is not the responsible dog owners 15 years ago my Husband,Aurora D’Elia,Maryann T planted on the Grassy Area Roses we bought white fences for Tulips In corner only to have the dogs come in and destroy flowers fences telling people to read signs quite a few said my dog can’t read fast forward today every street I walked on had dog poop there is no more grass destroyed by dog urine I say put cameras in gassy for all bad behavior including drugs I hope that parcel 12 is fenced In and no children allowed

  10. i am all for a dog park, but if a dog park is approved for parcel 12, how many people are going to walk down there especially in the winter. i see people in their pajamas in the gassy when i go to work every morning. i do not believe they will walk all the way down there to have their dog do their business. i give r.u.f.f. credit for their efforts, but you’re not going to reach every dog owner. even the people who take the time to pick up after their dog seem to think it’s ok to drop a bag of crap wherever they want. maybe the city could add more recepticles strictly for dog crap. as far as the leash law, that’s a topic for another day. and you dog owners who walk their dogs away from where you live and let them pee in front of someone elses house, that is not ok. let them pee in front of your own house.

  11. One issue that I am surprised has not been brought up is the garbage men taking dog poop out of the trash can and throwing them on the sidewalks. When I saw this take place I asked them about it and was told it is considered hazarded waste and should be placed in a special receptacle for hazard materials (which of course do not exists in the NE) This does not excuse dog poop being left on the ground, but might explain the poop bags being thrown around the neighborhood

    1. That makes no sense. What about all the baby/toddler diapers, kitty litter, and waste from other pets? Diapers that wound up in the sewer – from the nursing home? – supposedly contributed to a massive flooding on Fulton Street a week or two ago, when city workers blasted all the sewage back into people’s homes, causing a huge amount of damage to floors and furniture. Anyone know what the daycare operations do with diapers?

  12. I just moved into the North End and walk my dog in the Gassy and sometimes over at the Richmond St. Park. It’s incredible to see the difference. The Richmond Park is tidy and picked up and the Gassy is an abomination. Has anyone discussed turning the flights at the Gassy into a park exclusively for dogs? Seems like that space isn’t being used for anything but teens congregating.

    1. What little open space there is in the neighborhood shouldn’t be turned into a dog park for people who move to the neighborhood with their pets. It seems like so many transplants try to mold the neighborhood into something it’s not rather than move somewhere else that already has more of the things that they want.

      1. On the contrary, this transplant is not trying to mold this neighborhood at all. I picked this neighborhood because of it’s safe reputation. It wasn’t until after I moved in that I heard of all the problems associated with teen drinking and drug deals on the flights. So, why not make this part of the park that was not included in the 2012 renovation a place for dogs. I would think that dedicating this area for that would be a big step in neighborhood policing. It’s kind of hard to conduct illegal activities in front of witnesses…..not the dogs, their owners of course!

  13. Tons of dog poop on the tennis courts at 585 Commercial that the public school kids have to play in too… Seem that irresponsible dog owners really like these enclosed spaces.

    I think it would be great to put a dog park in the flights at the Gassy. Currently, that area doesn’t benefit residents in any way and is actually a very dangerous place in our neighborhood.

    1. The tennis courts are adjacent to 585 Commercial but are DCR property not 585’s and will not be associated with the school. Maybe you can take a picture next time you see this and forward it to DCR and/or ask Aaron to address it for you/the neighborhood.

    2. I find it so curious that the kids have recess on the tennis courts. Even if the courts aren’t associated with 585, kids are out there nearly every day.

      Can’t they use the playground? Why is this building a school if there is no place for kids to have recess?

      It seems all we hear is what a great school the Eliot is, but if my kids went there I would at least expect a better recess environment.

      1. Hi local mom, living in a dense urban environment we use what we have. The state owned tennis courts are open to all people, including public school children.

        1. I don’t think the kids should be prohibited from the courts, I’m just surprised to see them all locked in there every day, particularly when there are playing fields so close by. But I know the space is only temporarily for the Eliot. I’m sure some sort of playground area will be created when the downtown school takes over.

          In the meantime, it does underscore the importance of picking up dog feces, particularly in areas where our children are playing, particularly if the children don’t have the option to leave the area.

        2. I guess this is sort of off topic, but what happens when the weather is warmer and residents of the North End and surrounding areas start using those courts to play tennis? Where will the middle school children have recess if the tennis courts are being used? I personally don’t play, but I have periodically seen the courts being used during the day prior to 585 becoming a school. Is there a plan in place?

          1. I think there is plenty of space for everyone! I’m sure the Eliot kids will move to the ballfields once the snow melts and they aren’t all muddy. But then, they will have to deal with the dog poop all over the ball fields too. Since this thread is about poop – all of the public recreational areas that line that side of the north end are known to be covered in dog poop that is not picked up by owners. Maybe since there are kids and people with them around more, less irresponsible dog owners will get away with leaving poop behind.

            I’d really like to see the Gassy flights turned into a dog park. It is close to a lot of residents – those at the Gassy in their pajamas can still go there, and people and their dogs, using the area at all times of day, would do a lot to deter all the illegal activity that centers in the flights. When the park was redone a few years ago, residents were told that there was no budget to address the flights.

            1. During the summer (July-August), Tenacity takes over the North End Tennis Courts between 9-3 p.m. It’s a summer tennis/literacy program for kids 6-18.

  14. There is too much dog poop on Charter St. and most of the side streets to call anyone a responsible dog owner. I just came home and there is dog s–t in front of my building. If catch you, you will eat it.

    1. Definitely not fair to say none of us are responsible dog owners, believe me we hate stepping in poop as much if not more then non dog owners. We responsible owners realize this is a bad look for the rest of us, so PLEASE don’t claim ALL of us are irresponsible, especially when many owners volunteer their time to clean up after the irresponsible owners on Sat. mornnings

  15. Great idea —– snap a photo of the ‘offender’ that ‘does not pick-up’ (which is the responsibility of the dog owner as the dog cannot pick-up). ROUTINELY, every single early morning’ a large dog does his business somewhere between #1 Sheafe and #11 Sheafe …on the sidewalk!! on the curb…on the street…..and it is LEFT UGHHH what a view and people step in it and tracked all around. I sweat I will one day catch this culprit and low and behold he/she will be posted with pic on this site – after I bring it to their attention. When it is in front of my building, I either have to ‘what walk by and leave it’ – no I HAVE to pick it up and dispose of it so as not to track into building. Terrible, disgusting and no consideration.

  16. i can only guess at how many thumbs down this next statement will get.” ah, the good old day when there were maybe 10-12 dogs in the whole north end at one time.” just my opinion, but dogs do not belong in any city environment. not fair to the dogs who are locked up while owners are working. not fair to the residents who have to deal with this crap. just my opinion. i know it will not change anything. where do these people come from. they let their dogs do their business in front of other people’s homes. let them crap and pee in front of your own house. oh that’s right ,IT STINKS!

    1. Geez…..only 10-12 dogs at one time?? I wonder what it was like back in the good old days when there were no cars and trucks? I’ll bet that it was worse when wagons were drawn by horses pooping all over the streets….I doubt that the cart drivers were pulling over to sweep up behind them. I just think that unimproved places like the Gassy Flights and Parcel 12 should be considered as designated spaces for man & child’s best friend. Whether you like it or not, dogs have become a more important part of our lives as time has evolved and to include the responsible owners who do the right thing with the inconsiderate ones who don’t is a mistake. The dogs are here to stay….let’s work on a solution! JUST MY OPINION!

      1. pj, i am glad i wasn’t around for the horse and buggy days. as you point out there were no cars or trucks, so the horse was a neccesity. i agree the streets must have been a s__t hole. i have no problem developing space for dogs. will all dog owners use them, i don’t think so. i have no choice but to live with the fact that this neighborhood has far too many dogs for my liking. my choice to stay here as i was born and raised here. i also raised my children here. we all have our opinions. i did see 1 post where someone said they cary a bleach bottle with them to spray after they pickup after their dog poops or pees. i have never seen anyone do that. would you like your child or yourself to play on the grass, their right to do so, and roll around where a dog just did their business. how about people letting their dogs do their business in front of your house, even if they pick up. is this a responsible owner. it is disrespectful. we all have opinions. i give credit to the owners who see the problem and are trying to fix it. i do not see a good end result because of the owners who don’t care. i don’t have a solution. i don’t think anyone has one that will make everyone happy.

  17. 587 location is 5th thru 8th graders. They don’t really use playgrounds at that age. The Eliot Charter Street location is preschool thru 4th and they use their playground behind the school and the prado daily.

  18. mc, you have every right to be upset with all the irresponsible dog owners, but the solution isn’t banning dogs from the North End. Nobody is against cleaner streets & parks, particularly the vast majority of responsible dog owners. The city should provide one or more fenced in areas in the neighborhood (away from kids’ playgrounds) where dogs can go to exercise safely off-leash and relieve themselves. The North End is one of the few remaining neighborhoods in all of Boston that does not have a single designated dog park. Richmond Street is an unofficial dog park that is successfully supervised and cleaned by responsible dog owners (Thank You RUFF!), not the City of Boston, and could be reclaimed by DOT at any time. It’s small, but it does get a lot of use and diverts some of the dog traffic away from Columbus and the Greenway. Richmond St. is better than nothing, but it’s woefully inadequate for the sizable and growing dog population in our neighborhood. The suggestion by pj to utilize the Gassy Flights as a dog park is a great one that would provide a legal alternative to the ballfields for those dog owners too far away from Richmond.

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