Non-profit Other
Non-profit
Status: Approved

Dog Park @ Forest Park

Submitted By:
pauleenyk
on 12.01.12

pauleenyk

Dog Park @ Forest Park

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.


Orion Foeller

Orion Foeller said 3/24/2013

San Diego has a network of large fee free dog parks. People travel from all over the San Diego area to bring their dogs to the city dog parks. There were never any problems with any of the rules. We need to look at other cities as models, when it comes to implementing a dog park inside Forest Park. A fee is only going to drive people away from using it. Along with a fee comes the overhead and bureaucracy needed to enforce it. My guess is more money will be made from the tax revenue brought to the area than will ever be made from the collected fees.

Nathan

Nathan said 1/21/2013

We gladly pay $70 a year to be members at Creve Coeur dog park, though we live in UCity. The members are extremely diligent in picking up poop, bringing fresh water, refilling and cleaning the swimming area, etc. There has to be rules and guidelines for a successful park including documentation otherwise it's a free for all. Piedmont Park in Atlanta is amazing, but it is also in the center of an extremely affluent neighborhood.

Brandon

Brandon said 1/6/2013

I agree that a dog park in Forest Park is a great idea. However, as some have commented below, I think requiring membership is preferable to open access. While I love the idea of everyone being able to visit the dog park easily, open access makes it difficult to ensure that people follow rules, such as, ensuring dogs behave, have all shots and vaccinations, and clean up after themselves. While 99% of people would follow these rules, my concern is that open access would allow visitors, with little or no investment in the long-term well-being of the park, to ruin it for everyone else. Moreover, a small fee of $50 a year per dog owner would go a long way in raising funds to maintain the park. For example, let's say there are 200 members, this would generate $10,000 a year for the park. I've been a member of the Maplewood park for a few years, and would love one closer to my home in Dogtown, but I would be concerned about open access. Just my two cents...

livesimple

livesimple said 12/30/2012

I like the idea of parks in general. Having a dog park as a great idea, however the owner needs to be responsible for clean-up, and that is a problem that non-dog owners will not tolerate. There comes a certain responsibility with owning a pet, no different from having children, and unfortunately there are always the few who make it difficult or even impossible for a great idea to pass. However, I'm still for it. It's about taking personal responsibility for our actions, and that goes with anything we do!

thesaunders

thesaunders said 12/27/2012

Recently visited Atlanta and they have a great dog park in Piedmont Park (http://www.piedmontpark.org/do/dogpark.html). It is free (they rely on donations to maintain). Would be great if Forest Park could have something similar.

hwynder

hwynder said 12/19/2012

I have the feeling that Purina would partner with your dog park idea if it is organized. There is an architectural school at Wash U. and dog park plans from other areas available on-line to use as a starting point. But the area will dictate the architecture. If you are a non-profit there are a number of business partners who will contribute for raffles and trivia nights prizes. We raised almost 20 thousand in a fairly short time. You might want to talk to some of the other dog parks especially Frenchtown and Soulard. I think your biggest hurdle will be Forest Park. Parks department has always been good to work with once they felt that we were organized and serious.

hwynder

hwynder said 12/19/2012

One time users create some problems a stable membership will not have. At Lucas Park dog park the membership dues cover the cost of doggie bags and required insurance. If we had "one-time" users I would want a system that included proof of vet care and a method to address overly aggressive dogs and irresponsible owners. I would welcome a large wooded area in Forest Park where I could let my dog run loose after work.

kittykat

kittykat said 12/11/2012

This is a great idea. My only suggestion is to include a one-time use fee as well as an annual fee. I go to school in Columbia and all the dog parks here are free, which is awesome, though I do see the benefits of having a registration and fee in a larger city. However, having one-time use fees in addition to annual fees will allow residents or visitors to take their dogs to the park without being charged the $40+ fees I normally find charged in dog parks in the St. Louis area if those residents or visitors do not plan on or cannot visit on a regular basis.