Dog Park Proposal/Petition

Lolas Dad

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#1
I'm looking to have an off leash dog park created across the street from me that is already a park but not being used for anything other than it being a big open field with trees. Hardly anyone uses it and when they do use it they are usually their with their dog on leash. This park was created by eminent domain and since it was not an improvement in the use of the land in my opinion I have already talked to the county park director about my idea and he thinks it will be a great use for it. The problem is he wants me to write a letter and I don't know what to put in it.

What I would like to do is instead of writing a letter is to get a petition together that people would be willing to sign to make it into an off leash dog park because I think that will have more of an impact than a letter from one individual. I'm hoping to get around 500 or so signatures.

Here is where you come in and can help if you would like to. I'm looking for something to say in the petition that is positive on the benefits of having an off leash dog park and how an off leash dog park would be beneficial to dogs and their owners. Any ideas just list them here in a reply.
 

Doberluv

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#2
I'd follow the park director's advice and start with writing a letter explaining why you think it would be a sensible thing to do with the land. If that doesn't work, then I'd go for the petitition idea. It may be completely unnecessary to go through all that hassle of a petitition at this stage.

As far as listing the positive benefits of an off leash dog park in your area, you would be the best judge of that. You must have reasons why you want this. List those. Is there any other place where dogs can run around anywhere close? Is there another park somewhere around that is already used for people...not that they decide to make this into a kid park or something. You could tell them that you think you could get a few other dog owners together to manage it on a volunteer basis....set up guidelines, rules etc. You might even check with a dog park in another area or city and see what they do...if you admire that one.
 

MPP

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#3
There will be at least some expense involved in setting it up and some ongoing expense in keeping it up. Volunteers are great, but you cannot rely on them 100%. I love your idea, though; it's just the sort of thing people should get involved with. And the dogs will love it!
 

Lolas Dad

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#4
We already have two dog parks in the county that are maintained and rules set by the county park system. The park I am proposing the off leash dog park in is already part of the county park system. I doubt that they have any idea to use it for anything else other than what it is now as the park had been their for 10 years so making it an off leash dog park would be beneficial to the community. Their are not a lot of kids in this area and their is already a few town parks in this area that have ball fields etc.

The problem with the dog parks that exist for the county already is that their are only two and distance is prohibitive for most people. I know their are seniors in the area that do not have cars but do have a dog. I have already talked to a lot of people who walk their dogs their now and have asked them if they knew about the dog parks that we already have to give them another outlet to bring their dog to in addition to that park. The response is they they have heard of them but haven't gone their because it is to far for them. Some have gone to them and wish their was one closer.

The dog parks that they do have close about a half hour before sunset so at the latest this means 9pm in August. Right now they close around 7pm so if a person works till five, gets home about 6pm they are not going to drive a half hour to a dog park that will close in a half hour. The people that have walked their dogs in their when I have been outside myself and asked them if they would come to the dog park if the park they are standing in now was made into an off leash dog park and all of them had said yes and not only would they come their but stay longer. The park is already maintained with the grass being cut and the trash barrels emptied by the county park employees. They even provide doggy bags for picking up after your dog so to make it an off leash dog park would really only require a fence at the very least.

The letter first is a good idea but by doing a petition first it will give me an idea of how many people in this area would see it is a benefit and actually use it. If I am knocking on peoples doors that have a dog are not interested in it then their is no sense in writing a letter and following it up with a petition.

For those that might be on the fence about signing a petition for one I can point out the benefits in the petition to why an off leash dog park would be an asset in the area. By them signing the petition they would be in favor of having it but that does not mean that they have to make a commitment to use it but it would at least be available to them if their was one in the area.

Not only can I probably get people to sign in this area but the surrounding towns within a 4-5 mile radius I might be able to have them sign also by leaving it with a few neighborhood stores with the store owners permission.

This is the dog park brochure for the two county dog parks we already have

http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/documents/133/offleach.pdf and yes that Is Lola in the brochure.
 

MPP

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#5
You're very organized. I can see that it wouldn't be much of an expense after all. And it would be benefit to many. As far as people not using it? HA! They would FLOCK to it, especially if they could walk there!
 

Sit Stay

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#6
I know that when our local dog owners wanted to get a dog park they formed a dog owners association and did to a petition. Although it's like the smallest park ever at this point, it's there and the city will be funding its expansion and improvements.

Here's some articles on what the group did.
YorkRegion Article: Leash-free park for Stouffville?
And a more recent one. Interesting that they're now saying they don't know how they'll expand it - this winter I talked to a guy who was very involved in the association and he said they were going to expand it quite a bit (at least doubling the size now). What a shame it looks like they might go back on what they had said!
YorkRegion Article: Dogs look for more leash-free parks

Their forum
Stouffville Dog Owners Association - Home

Hope this is helpful!
 
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#7
When we lived in NC, they opened a dog park and had people pay a yearly fee. It wasn't much, maybe $20... but that way they could somewhat control who brought their dogs to the park. They had a lock on the gate and you needed a combination to get in.
 

MPP

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#8
Our dog park is free to "city" residents. Non-residents can not get a sticker. Cars w/o a sticker will be fined $250 if parked in the parking lot. Non-residents who park their cars a block away and walk in? No problem. I don't necessarily recommend this approach.
 
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