A pilot dog park was presented this week to the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) by Amy Hand and Leslie Horn from the local dog owners group, RUFF (Responsible Urbanites for Fido).
RUFF is working with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services and funding from the Stanton Foundation to start the 3 month pilot in May 2015. The dog park will be located on the “flights” area of the Gassy park, known officially as DeFilippo Playground.
Feedback at a recent public meeting was “overwhelmingly positive,” said Leslie Horn, especially toward improving the crime-ridden status of the flights area. A basic design has been created using 2 levels of the flights. The larger, lower flight will be used for big dogs and the upper level for smaller dogs.
Entrances on the top and bottom of the flights will be double-gated and locked. RUFF is volunteering to work out the locking schedule that would keep the dog park open from dawn to dusk. The adjacent parking garage is also helping to restore lighting in the future.
Mulched and “potty” sections have been identified within the dog park, along with unique features like fake fire hydrants. The flights area has drainage to prevent runoff into the lower playground area. The City will be handling trash removal and power washing twice a month. Special dog waste barrels are being sourced to allow for waste bags while discouraging household trash.
Success of the pilot program will be measured by usage and whether the it attracts dog owners away from other neighborhood parks.
NEWNC voted 8-0 to support the pilot dog park program at the Gassy Flights.
A sketch of the dog park layout is shown below. Watch the above video for the presentation and discussion at NEWNC.