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The Scoop On The Poop

Is Lemon Grove ready for a dog park?

The city is offering residents an opportunity to be heard on the merits of creating an off-leash dog area at Berry Street Park. The online survey, which is available until Oct. 19, asks residents as well as nonresidents to give their opinions, and to get involved in the project.

This idea by the Grove’s government has got my tail wagging.

I have previously written about my support for a dog park, and that stance has not changed. What I find really exciting is the approach the city is taking with its outreach for community involvement. They actually want a partnership with interested individuals to build and maintain, donate goods and services, and plan special events for the dog park. Plus, they want our opinions on deciding the project’s worthiness.

Wait a minute. What is going on here? Doesn’t government just make a decision, hire their favorite contractors, and expect cost overruns to get the job done? This time the city actually wants to know what I think, and if I want to help. This smacks of transparency. Unbelievable.

Get this: they ask if a dog park is an appropriate use of local government funds. I thought this was always asked after fact, not before. Who are these people?

Next, they want my view on the most important features of a safe dog park: size, cleanliness, hours, location, maintenance, amenities, security, and separate small and large dog areas.

The city is actively seeking people who are willing to contribute time, materials, and skills to make the dog park a reality. In addition, they are inquiring about interest in buying commemorative name plaques to raise money for the park.

Then the question is raised about the greatest concerns regarding having a dog park in the city of Lemon Grove. You can pick your poison, from none to aggressive animals to security issues—and more. Apparently, our current local government is using an extremely fair and balanced approach. I am highly impressed.

By far, the best argument for a community dog park can be defined with one word: socialization. It’s not just dogs that benefit from pack behavior—it also works well for humans. Another good reason, statistics show, is that dog parks increase neighborhood property values.

The year was 1979 when the first dog park in the nation was created in Berkeley, CA. Where else?

It is time, Lemon Grove. Take the Dog Park Survey. Power to the people.

Helen Ofield September 25, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Woof, woof, Corky. We paws to applaud, secure in the knowledge that no fur will fly over this sit-up-and-beg-for-it proposal to poochify a popular park and render unto Fido the things that are Fido's. By all means let's unleash volunteerism in the service of this productive idea.

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