Today's just-released Takoma Park Newsletter had a nice story on the TakomaDogs presentation to the City Council. We've reprinted the full text of the article below....
Dog Park ”do-able”
From Takoma Park Newsletter, Volume 52, No. 8
Council chambers filled up with dog-lovers July 15 during a presentation of proposals to install three dog parks in Takoma Park. Several residents spoke in favor of the move, which was outlined by Joe Edgell on behalf of community group TakomaDogs.
The proposal involves building three fenced parks for supervised dogs to play together.
Four locations are being considered:
- Takoma-Piney Branch Park (Ed Wilhelm Park) terrace
- Takoma-Piney Branch Park (Darwin
Avenue) parking lot area
- Prince George’s Triangle, at the intersection of Prince George’s, Belford
and New Hampshire Avenues
- Sligo Creek Parkway and Maple Avenue
Considerations for each site include the availability of benches, trash receptacles and ground cover. Site preparation, existing use and contiguous neighbors are also important. Insurance, which held up a similar proposal in 2009, is an issue as well, though since these parks would be fenced (unlike those proposed in 2009), TakomaDogs suggests the cost of insurance would be less prohibitive now.
TakomaDogs is suggesting that the Ed Wilhelm terrace be built first, as the most favorable location, and that others follow. That location is owned by Montgomery County, and so would require county permission. The organization estimates the cost of installing a dog park there at $12,379 to $33,480, depending on fencing. It has proposed that once the parks are established, TakomaDogs could maintain them with volunteers and possibly corporate advertisements on the inside of the fencing.
City councilmembers seemed open to the idea during the meeting, suggesting it is “do-able.” They are, however, mindful of the failed dog park proposal of 2009. Besides insurance, finding a location was problematic: Montgomery County requires the parks to be at least 10,000 square feet. The TakomaDogs site suggestions each fit that description: the terrace is the smallest, at 24,150 square feet; the parking area nearby has 30,800 square feet; Prince George’s Triangle is 33,000 and Sligo Creek/Maple is 30,000.
TakomaDogs reports that its petition drive collected 1,123 signatures in favor of a park, including 577 from Takoma Park residents and 832 from the Maryland/DC area. Proponents of the park point out the large number of dog owners in Takoma Park, and the benefits of pet ownership, including more engaged social life for owners, better health and less stress. TakomaDogs also suggests that relationships between pet owners and non-pet owners would be better if dogs had designated play areas.