TakomaDogs Comments to City Council

Below is a transcript of TakomaDogs founder Joe Edgell's March 9, 2015, comments to the City Council. You can view the slides here and view the video of the presentation here.

Mr. Mayor and City Council Members, I am Joe Edgell. I am here representing TakomaDogs tonight, and I live in the 1000 block of Elm Avenue. I want to thank each of you up here for supporting the dog park effort up to this point. I believe that all of you, maybe minus one, signed the petition supporting the dog park, and we appreciate that.

This is an effort that is going to benefit all of the residents of Takoma Park, much like a basketball court benefits the people who play basketball, but it is something that nonetheless enriches the entire community. And it’s something that TakomaDogs and all of our supporters appreciate.

As you know, we have over 1000 signatures. The Mayor knows that specifically because I think he receives an email every time someone signs the petition.

I wanted to go over a couple of things in the two minutes that I have remaining. I wanted to remind the Council of the commitment to open the dog park this fiscal year. And there was specifically a commitment previously in the June second City presentation that there be a two-phase dog park. We’ve scaled it back to have one phase to save money. We’ll talk a little bit about that, I know, later when you guys have your discussion.

Brian Kenner also said that no matter what the scenario selected, is to have the dog park operational in fiscal year 15. Now I understand Brian is not around anymore, but we’ve laid out a timeline here, which will allow that to occur—to get the gates open on this phase one of the dog park.

Water year round is essential. This [photo] was taken today at Arlington County’s Madison Dog Park, and they had the water running. Dogs need water year round. This is a [photo of a] $144 faucet from Home Depot that is freeze proof. These are used on farms. This is the kind of thing that can provide water year round and have minimal maintenance.

These particular [faucets] we would like to be installed too, but we understand from talking with Arlington that these have some maintenance problems during the winter, so we would suggest that this particular thing be turned off during the winter. This be left on. This be turned off. And that way [the park] provides water year round.

There’s a misperception that somehow trees are incompatible with dog parks. There are lots of dog parks around that incorporate trees. In fact shade is extremely important to ensure that dogs don’t overheat. This [photo] was shot today at Madison Dog Park in Arlington. They have protection around the trees. These pictures were shot earlier at Patterson Dog Park in Baltimore. They also have trees with small fences around them that keep the dogs away from the base of the trees and away from the roots.

This [drawing] is the simplified design you’ll be looking at tonight.

And I wanted to highlight, as I close, the donated effort that the community has put into this. Eric Saul, who is a local architect, has donated over $10,000 as part of TakomaDogs in design services. We’ve had hundreds of volunteers that have donated their time to clear the effort. That’s worth thousands of dollars. And we have also put in a lot of effort on our own researching things and working with the City staff to make sure this happens.

And here’s a picture of all the folks who worked on it this year. Over 100 volunteers. We think it’s time to get it built.

Thank you for your time.