Most major U.S. cities have large, accessible dog parks located in high-density, "walkable” neighborhoods and these parks contribute a great deal to the overall quality of life and morale of community residents. Forest Park boasts a great deal of outdoor space and much of the park land is not regularly used. Additionally, there is an abundance of parking available along park roads and the park is already one of the biggest destinations for families and people with an active lifestyle. All of these factors make Forest Park the ideal site for St. Louis City’s first large, state-of-the-art dog park. Dog parks add a great deal of value to a community. They are a place for residents to exercise and socialize their dogs, which positively affects the health of dogs and their owners. Dog parks also function as a social center for residents. Residents will frequently congregate at the dog park, where they can mingle with other residents and form new community ties. For some people, the dog park may be their primary source of daily contact with other human beings. Dog parks also encourage people to get out and stay active. St. Louis, on a social level, has developed the unfortunate reputation of being extremely cliquish and insular. The existence of a large, accessible, open-to-the-public dog park in a central landmark location will help to break residents out of their insular circles and facilitate positive, community-building, social interaction. Additionally, dog parks that are managed properly are a great source of revenue for the community and the City parks system. Through paid dog registrations, rule enforcement (fines), and the increase in visitors to Forest Park, the City can generate a positive fiscal return through proper marketing and oversight of the Forest Park Dog Park. St. Louis is in dire need of more community-focused activities that will bring a diverse range of residents together to share in their common interests. The Forest Park Dog Park is precisely the type of facility St. Louis needs to move forward as a more active, healthy, and united city.
Raise funds to: (1) Lobby for approval by Forest Park to allocate a large plot of land for the development of a state-of-the art dog park; (2) Hire an expert dog park designer/architect to design and built out the dog park; (3) Establish a central office through which dog park permits and enforcement are administered; (4) Form a marketing group to organize dog park events (educational and community events) and partnerships with St. Louis businesses; (5) establish a fund to ensure proper maintenance and periodic upgrades to the dog park.