Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crystal City Dog Park

This weekend we visited the City of Arnold's "Paw Park".  Surprisingly, we had almost as much fun as our dogs!  It didn't take long at all to conclude that Crystal City should seriously consider a dog park of its own.

Our proposal:  The City of Crystal City and its Parks Department should consider the creation of a dog park at the Crystal City Municipal Park.

Why should Crystal City consider a dog park?  As our friends at put it:

A dog park is a place where people and their dogs can play together. These facilities offer dogs off-leash play areas while their people enjoy the park-like setting. Amenities, such as fencing, water, parking, and even grass, vary greatly among these places, but ‘off-leash’ and ‘park’ are the key elements that dog owners (who are also taxpayers and voters) desire.
For some dog owners, a dog park may provide the main opportunity for dog guardians to socialize with other people and their dogs, and is a primary source of recreation. We believe that they deserve to have their taxpayer dollars used towards a safe, accessible place where they can meet other people and exercise themselves and their dogs.
In short- its a great place for people to take their dogs, let them run around with no leashes, and generally have fun!

Here are some pictures from the Arnold Paw Park this weekend:





The Arnold Paw Park is separated into two areas- one for dogs under 25 lbs and one for dogs over 25 lbs.  While it seems the small dogs may cross into the bigger pen, the larger dogs are kept out of the smaller dog area.

One aspect quickly noticed was the number of "regular" attendees and the fun, welcoming community they formed.  Everyone welcomed us and our dogs in a very genuine way.

Having seen pictures from Arnold, where could Crystal City put a dog park of its own?  We spent part of our late morning exploring the Crystal City Municipal Park and concluded that an excellent spot would be the large field next to the old handball courts in the North section of the park:



The field is large, flat, and very visible to passing motorists and pedestrians.  Adequate parking is available along the roadside near the ball-fields and plumbing exists in the area for a water station.  On its face, it appears ideal, especially given that the field has no current purpose.  If needed, the old handball courts, generally little used, could be razed for a larger area.

With some planning, a little extra money, and the willpower, Crystal City could have an excellent dog park enjoyed by human and canine alike.  The materials required for a park are fairly simple- some powder-coated fencing, a couple of benches, a water station, and rules clearly posted at the gate.

Lets hope that in 2010 Crystal City's pooches will have a place to run free at last!

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