Some Additional Points to Consider when Discussing the Northern Ward 4 Dog Park Application

Thank you to Mike Cohen for reaching out to me with some additional points to discuss when considering the Northern Ward 4 Dog Park’s Application for a dog park located on the grounds of the Takoma Park Recreation Center and the Friends of Takoma Recreation Center’s Petition against the proposed site:

  • You should not have to use the Friends of Takoma Recreation Center’s online petition to provide your comments to DPR. Regardless of whether you support the dog park application or not, you should express your independent thoughts to DPR by sending an email to the following email address: dpr.dogparks.
  • In Washington, D.C. there are a total of 13 dog parks. Six of those dog parks are currently located at recreation centers. Many successful D.C. dog parks. are located next to highly utilized athletic fields, recreation centers, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Want to know more? Please visit: Landsburgh Dog Park, Langdon Dog Park, Chevy Chase Dog Park, Kingsman Field Dog Park, Upshur Dog Park, Shaw Dog Park, or any of the other wonderful dog parks that are located throughout Washington, D.C.
  • Takoma Recreation Center is a highly-utilized park. So are many other parks in Washington, D.C. The dog park group tried to engage with the Friends of Takoma Recreation Center many times in order to find a suitable location for a dog park at the Takoma Recreation Center. The result: no response. Instead, our group has had to work directly with DPR, Coolidge SHS, ANC 4B, and nearby neighbors and businesses – all who have given their approval for the current site.
  • The Northern Ward 4 Dog Park group has been following the same dog park process that every other D.C. dog park group has followed since dog park regulations were enacted in 2006. The group has followed an exhaustive process of identifying potential sites, analyzing those sites, engaging with DPR and DDOE regarding those sites, engaging with the local ANC, and then applying for those sites. The group’s application includes support from over 550 D.C. residents, which is the largest dog park petition that has ever been submitted to D.C. DPR.
  • The community deserves an opportunity to weigh in on any spending that takes place. The $300,000 figure that was quoted for the Takoma Recreation Center dog park is what was quoted by DPR — not the dog park group. This amount is less than what D.C. has paid for other dog parks in the city. The dog park group has said repeatedly that they would like to try and raise money to offset any costs incurred by the city.
  • The Dog Park Application Review Committee should include representatives from the community. Once the site has been approved, the dog park group would like to see a member of the Friends of Takoma Recreation Center’s board of directors added to the Dog Park Application Review Committee (DPARC).
  • Our community has been part of a standardized dog park application process – the same process that has existed in Washington D.C. for over ten years. This process involves the application and submission of an application which is then reviewed by a number of parties. In order for this process to be viable, it must pass a number of local, ward-wide, and city-wide hurdles. That is exactly what is happening right now.

Thank you for supporting the youth, adults, families, D.C. residents, and everyone else who uses the Takoma Recreation Center. If you have comments or opinions that you’d like to share about the dog park — whether they’re supportive or not — please email DPR at dpr.dogparks.org.

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