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Monday, March 26, 2007

DPR Dog Park Meeting Tonight

The Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting a forum tonight at the Kennedy Recreation Center (1401 7th Street, NW) to discuss DPR’s proposed dog park regulations. The forum begins at 7:00pm. I strongly encourage all dog-park enthusiasts to attend.

Speaking of dog parks, I was in Manhattan this weekend and witnessed several wonderful examples of dogs, humans and cities co-existing wonderfully. In particular, I watched pups and their owners playing at the dog parks in Union Square and in Madison Square Park. In both cases, the dog parks are one of several components comprising vital public spaces and attract numerous spectators. Other elements common to both of these engaging parks include playgrounds for children, public art, fountains, and green space. Madison Square Park features the Shake Shack, a DELICIOUS permanent burger and shake stand (a woefully inadequate description for this heavenly eatery!) and a well established citizen group that organizes a variety of activities occurring in the park. Union Square features a regular farmers market, attracts a variety of street performers, and is surrounded by a thriving retail, restaurant, and entertainment district.

I bring up these parks to illustrate that dog parks do not need to remove a park from use for other purposes but can compliment and add to a park’s existing uses. And, correspondingly, dog parks indeed add vitality to existing parks. I don’t mean to beat a dead horse in continuing to espouse pro-dog-park propaganda, but clearly this hot topic is here to stay until reasonable dog park regulations are in place and until we achieve this amenity in or near Shaw for all to enjoy.

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