Park the kid, not the dog.
Had to deal.
It was an eyesore or a lifesaver for the neighborhood.
That big lot surrounded by the chain link fence.
Oh, some enjoyed the picnic tables under two clumps of trees….maybe not elegantly sculptured trees, but shade all summer.
And there was the line of scrub trees down one side – for those who shyly sought a little distance when needed some “private time”.
Dogs loved it. Frisbee throwing size. Toss the ball as hard as you can size. ( And again. And again…).
One of the largest dog parks in the Washington, DC area.
Well used. Well loved …well, sort of.
It was wide open.
No serious attempt at landscaping or beauty.
Mulched so prevent mud holes.
Double gated entry areas on two sides.
Pretty much everyone kept it picked up.
But you can’t please everyone.
A few complained the mulch stained their fuzzy little white dogs’ coats. (It’s kinda like white couches…a lifestyle choice)
Some complained it was ugly. (What is really needed is a trendy eco-friendly example for the rest of the country to emulate. It’s one of those ahead of the curve neighborhoods. They know what’s good for the rest of us.)
Some complained it wasn’t entertaining enough for non-dog residents.
Hard on strollers with just the sidewalk around the outside. Can’t deny strollers an opportunity to interact with wildly running dogs out for their rare outdoor exercise time.
Only a couple of swings outside the fenced area on the nice grass.
Not one place for children to splash and play in a fountain or pretend river in hot weather.
Besides why should neighborhood children be forced to use the huge park just a few blocks away? Or that other one in the other direction also very close, also well equipped?
Children can’t drive anymore than dogs can! And who could ask children to walk!
Dogs love to walk. Not kids.
In May, the County awarded contracts to start the renovation of James Hunter /Clarendon Dog Park (in the planning since 2007.)
It’s going to be glorious.
Well worth the $1.8.5 million dollars that will be spent: (see the final plan here)
A terraced elevated plaza area (overlooking the canine area)- with tables and benches. Pedestrian areas
A demonstration garden with native plantings that support wild life. (They aren’t talking about the local bar scene, are they?)
Trees will surround the park (Good they cut down those existing trees. They were in the way)
A water feature. (Soothing for mind and foot – or will they mind that?)
Kiosk, “Comfort Station”, and drinking fountain
All using sustainable alternative energy with solar cells
Boasting of a system to retain, purify, and recycle rainwater. (Solar cells will run the pumps for the passive subsurface irrigation system)
Using lots of recycled / environmentally friendly materials (only a little synthetic turf.)
Public art area
And there will be signs. They hired a special firm for signs. (Bound to be worth the money)
“Thoughtbarn, a multidisciplinary design firm, has been brought aboard to design, fabricate, and install the park signage, as part of a Public Art project. Utilizing a unique approach to integrating form, text, iconography, and alternative energy sources, TB has created signage that provides effective information and direction, encourages the learning experience, creates a sense of place, and enhances the over-all image of the park.”
Oh, and space for dogs (decomposed granite ground covering. Water source available).
The design boasts of something for everyone.
But what looks good on paper, in reality, is sometimes different.
Know those wonderful residential floor plans that look so spacious on-line but the rooms turn out to be really really tiny? The final plan sure includes so many amenities.
Park construction is running a bit behind schedule. Due to be done by summer, 2012, it’s looking more like 2013. Construction actually started in October.
There’s been a bit of controversy about the expense.
(But it will be a vanguard design! A beacon of enlightenment!)
One neighborhood woman hotly defended the costs saying, “It about time those of us who support the area – who shop in Whole Foods, and Pottery Barn – who are the ones who bring in all the nice stores so others can have access to those – have something nice in the neighborhood.”
In any case, it’s good the construction contracts were let before Hurricane Sandy.
Some people might be rethinking the $1.6 to $1.85 million expense for a dog park.
Sounds top of the line, so if you’re in the area, get that leash ready!
(Does any one know if decomposed granite will stain a white dog’s coat? Please say it doesn’t.)
Time to park it.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge