Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bark, If You Love Parks

Needing to wash away the bitter taste left by last night's election results, my Susan is heading out tonight to attend an information open house on the final draft for St. Paul's Parks and Rec’s new system plan.

She wants to speak up for us about more off-leash dog areas - although all aspects of public parks are pretty appealing. From community gardens to disc golf to hiking paths through natural areas, a robust parks and recreation system speaks well of the livability of any urban area. What I know: people and dogs are happy in parks.
Battle Creek Off-Leash Dog Park south social area
Dogs aren't invited to hearings. Dog owners aren't very vocal as a group. So dogs and dog owners aren't really seen as key players in park planning, despite our huge numbers as regular users of citywide parks and paths. But thanks to the hard work of a few persistent dog owners, the new system plan states:

"More off leash dog area are needed. Off leash dog areas are recommended for Lilydale, portions of Newell or Marydale Park, Downtown (Landmark Plaza and Mears Park- small dog “relief ” areas; Pedro Park and or Lower Landing – small to mid-size dog park), Central Corridor and along the Mississippi River."

Battle Creek Off-Leash Dog Park
Even you can't make a information open house, read the system plan and let St. Paul government hear your feedback. Good government only works when everyone speaks up -- not just the haters and the yappy dogs.

Public Viewing of Draft - Community Open Houses
A draft of the System Plan will be brought to the community in November. Residents will have an opportunity to see the results of work that was done following the community meetings and comprehensive analysis that was completed over the spring/summer months.

Anyone may attend any of the five planned community meetings. Attendees will be able to share comments about what they think of the plan, and following the completion of all the meetings, the plan may be tweaked prior to a final draft being presented at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on December 8 and to City Council in January 2011.

All open houses will be held from 7 PM – 9 PM. The dates and locations for the open houses are:
  • November 3 - Hillcrest Recreation Center, 1978 Ford Parkway
  • November 8 - Phalen Recreation Center, 1000 East Wheelock Parkway
  • November 9 - Wellstone Community Center/El Rio Vista Recreation Center, 179 Robie Street East
  • November 15 - Oxford Community Center/Jimmy Lee Recreation Center, 270 Lexington Parkway North
  • November 18 - North Dale Recreation Center, 1414 St. Albans Street North

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