Thursday, April 16, 2009
Op-Ed: It's a Dog's Life!
By Phyllis Taiano
If all goes according to plan, Middle Village canines will soon have a safe place to run freely, play and socialize at Juniper Valley Park.
The park is the result of growing interest in the Middle Village area for the creation of an area to let dogs run freely. There is obviously a demand for the dog park, and the public has really stepped up in order to help achieve this goal. There has been a large turnout in meetings and the unprecedented support for the Juniper Valley Park Dog Association. Members of nearby dog parks have been in attendance to provide feedback and consultation.
The fenced-in park proposal has been reviewed by the membership and the overwhelming support for the area currently being occupied far and away surpassed that of the other two or three areas under consideration. Now that the planned dog park has won the support of dog owners and non owners alike, there's still another hurdle: paying for the park.
Volunteers have stepped up to offer their contractor abilities for building benches that will surround the trees, while others are signing up for clean up days, or planting flowers. Local pet-related businesses have also jumped in to help plan local pet events together. In conjunction, The Juniper Valley Park Dog Association is currently planning fundraisers to help offset the costs for building and maintaining our park.
The JVPDA is working diligently in structuring the park appropriately. Our dog park will be a help, not a hindrance, to those who'd rather not be around dogs. Proper fencing and barriers will segregate the dogs from areas of the park being used for other activities like baseball games and children's recreational activities and heavy pedestrian traffic. The fenced-in park will be separated into two areas: one for dogs under 20 pounds and another for dogs of any size.
Dog parks share one common purpose; to provide an area where dogs can run free from restraint---legally and safely. A dog park may also provide their only chance to interact with other dogs and people. And because a well-socialized dog is less likely to develop behavior problems such as aggression and excessive barking, an outdoor club for canines may help reduce associated neighborhood conflicts. While dogs are busy socializing with each other, owners are doing the same, creating a sense of community and camaraderie. As one more bonus, our dog park filled with users and their dogs is a great crime deterrent within the city park system.
On Monday, April 20th at 7pm at Juniper Park - Brennan Field, the JVPDA and the Juniper Valley Parks Committee will be meeting to discuss the location for our park. Perhaps we will come to know our new dog park as the “pets and people park!” It’s another way we’ll keep that sense of “community” alive and well in Middle Village.
If you are interested in volunteering and being a part of the JVPDA, volunteers should be dog lovers who are willing to pitch in to keep our park fun and a healthy environment for our dogs and uprights! We have occasional meetings and will be hosting events at the park. Become a volunteer. It’s a great way to give back to the park that we enjoy with our four-legged friends.
For general information, e-mail Joe Pisano, President of JVPDA, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For volunteer fundraising efforts: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information in regards to general dog park volunteering: KateBeirne@earthlink.net
Editor’s Note: Since there has been some opposition to creating a dog run in Juniper Valley Park and concerns over its proposed location, Community Board 5 will hold its Parks Committee meeting at Juniper Valley on Monday evening.
What do you think about the group’s efforts to create a dog park? Comment below or write to us at email@example.com