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Dog Park Project
Initial Meeting ~ Nov 30TH, 2011
Explore some of the dog park or dog run web sites and you will see that the term applies to quite a variety of circumstances Most parks in this area don't allow dogs even on leash, so if one park pops up where dogs are allowed it gets designated by the users as a "dog park" even if the creators did not have that in mind at all.. At its simplest the term "dog park" generally is used where the design of the park, and its amenities make it clear that dogs are invited, not just permitted. Most people, however, use "dog park" to mean a place dogs can play off leash. Our hope is that BARCO Dog Park will be a place where dogs are celebrated, not merely permitted.
A place where careless owners allow their dogs to romp while completely unobserved by the owner, causing chaos and aggressive behavior. A place where every dog is welcome at any time ± Dogs MUST have up to date vaccinations to visit. This is the best way to avoid illnesses and health issues A place where young or timid dogs can be bullied by larger more aggressive dogs. Owners MUST know their dogs and have them under control at all times. A free for all µdogs allowed¶ area with no responsible parties to enforce rules and regulations. BARCO volunteers will seek to have many volunteers who will be available to enforce rules and regulations.
some are 50 acres or much more.¶ This is something for the whole city. Insurance can be a problem for private parks. B. but I can go to the dog park and get my fix. Public resistance or lack of funds is a problem for public parks. having local businesses sponser the park would be a mutually beneficial combination for Boyertown. Where does the funding come from? ± There are many grants available from a wide range of places such as Berks County Community Foundation as well as Large Pet Store such as Petco.´ quote from another dog park association in PA It is unanimously agreed that the most successful dog parks are the ones with an active user group. Boyertown Area Responsible Canine Owners Volunteer ~ Join a Committee ~ Spread the Word Sign up Sheet and Info Brochures are on the table. Is there an entrance fee? . It pays to check this out.Some are.R. membership with some type of fee may also help in keeping out problem dogs and their owners.A. Dog Owner Group Needed « Start with a core group of 6-10 committed dog park activists. Bring even more surrounding people to increase business in Boyertown Give dogs a place to exercise safely.Sometimes. some are not.Some are public. Also. some are private.C. 2 .O. However.. Are the parks privately owned or public property? .1/20/2012 Is the park enclosed? . In many states "recreational use immunity" protects landowners from liability only if no fee is charged. Some are as small as a quarter acre. thus reducing barking and other problem behaviors They promote responsible pet ownership and the enforcement of dog-control laws Provide seniors and disabled owners with an accessible place to exercise their companions provide an area for community-building socializing these parks are for people ² whether or not they are dog owners ³We¶ve had elderly people who say µI can¶t own a dog.
³I took a non-doggy person to one and she was amazed and full of questions. From another Dog Park Advocate . She volunteered to talk with a reluctant board member to relate her positive experience. if practicable take elected officials on a follow-up field trip. Establish committee¶s for the major tasks with someone heading each with specific goals and timelines. make videotape if it is very far. Make presentations to comminity groups whose backing would be valuable. Establishment of Park ± Follow through with the steps required to establish a well planned community Dog Park Rule Enforcement ± Volunteers will rotate in assisting with this duty. If it is possible for your group to offer free or very low cost manners training you will find it well worth your while in achieving your goal. The more volunteers. Get Community Support: a larger community meeting will help get the word out to supporters and solicit input and suggestions.Prepare a "Show and Tell³ -Make a field trip to some successful dog parks. If you have any within suitable driving distance consider a field trip for anyone who may be involved in reviewing the idea. and how they will handle complaints and problems maintaining the highest standards as well as Boyertown Borough Requirements and Laws 3 . Ideally your dog owner group will show its commitment to responsible dog ownership by sponsoring activities such as the AKC¶s Canine Good Citizen Certificate. Education .1/20/2012 Start a group: Start with a core group of 6-10 committed dog park activists. Responding to reports of Incidents ± Decide who will. Delegate: Delegate projects to focus efforts where needed and best talents used.Promote responsible dog ownership ± Gain support for the Park Project through various means. the less for each person to do. Encourage people to write letters in support of a dog park to public officials and the media.dog owners and community .´ Promototion ± Promote the recreational benefits for humans .
Donated Land ? Land next to Ambulance Company Need to research all possibilities in this category Privately Held Land Lease ± Federal Mogul. two organizations dedicated to promoting responsible dog ownership. president of the Maryland Dog Federation and vice president of the American Dog Owners Association.Research all available and determine cost for budget We need a Land Research Committee to work on land possibilities ~ both indoor and outdoor locations 4 . identify one or more city officials who will support the dog park concept.1/20/2012 Clean Up . or fences. finding somebody in municipal government who is a dog person will usually help smooth the way for you. weekly trash removal. Having the early support of someone in the city government can help give your idea credibility in the media and provide contacts and strategies to advance your effort. according to Jerry Malmo. benches. Research surrounding townships in Boyertown School District. In Seattle. And more« I am sure that many other things will come up that we will need to address as an organization. united with the same goal. ³Even before you¶ve made a public declaration. Many of us have the philosophy that we pick up whatever we see because surely we must have missed our own dogs poop time or two ourselves Maintenance ± Provide ongoing maintenance for the park. we can and will succeed! Early in the lobbying process. and clearing snow.´ says Adrianne Lefkowitz. board chairman of Seattle¶s Citizens for Off-leash Areas. But together. taking up the dog park cause to overrule the objections of a parks superintendent. city council member Jan Drago became a dog lovers¶ hero. replacement of damaged equipment.The user group takes responsibility for picking up after the clueless and the careless. Hillside Camp ± Research all others« Purchase. Government or Township/Borough land Spoke w/Lori Carne at Park & Rec Board ± Borough has no non-used land available. Cutting the grass. Including things like.
1/20/2012 Appropriate site selection Outdoor or Indoor Size of area Noise disturbing any Neighbors Maintenance and health concerns City support Traffic Supervision of park Insurance requirements Local regulations Do we want to incorporate as a non-profit? What are the pro¶s and con¶s. Agility equipment if desired Various other items as desired We also need a committee to work on the Park Design and Budgeting of necessary items they would work closely with the Land Research Committee . adequate drainage to preserve soil quality and promote cleanliness. sufficient parking close to the site. and waste disposal stations with plastic pickup bags and covered receptacles. The next step is finding a suitable location that will accommodate dogs and their owners without negatively affecting the surrounding neighborhood. are located on public land. shade and water.to 6-foot fence. 5 . Ideally. benches. associate executive director of the Marin Humane Society in Novato. Calif. Given the relative scarcity of undeveloped land in most metropolitan areas. Often. a double-gated entry. Wheel Chair Access Safe Location ± not isolated Regular Maintenance Separate areas for small and large dogs. the best place to start your search is with the local parks department. a dog park should include the following amenities: One acre or more surrounded by a 4. Most dog parks are public facilities and. signs which clearly display the rules and requirements for using the dog park should be placed prominently throughout the park. which may have unused or little-used parcels of land. ³finding a location that might work tends to be the biggest hurdle any agency is going to run into. routine mowing Covered Garbage cans w/regular trash removal Pooper Scooper Stations Benches. as such.´ says Rick Johnson. Should we have elected Board of Officials? If not how should we organize the group? The Ideal Park includes: Concern for the environment One acre or more surrounded by a 4¶-6¶ fence Entry ± double gated Shade & Water (trees) Adequate Drainage Parking close to site Grass Area.
bags. raised over $20. including Muenster Milling. which opened in 2001. a Texas manufacturer of organic dog food that made a $25. White Rock Lake Dog Park Inc. hats.´ Tinning says. & breed specific on the website and at events« Donating a brick µIn Memory Of¶ or µIn Honor Of¶ placed in an entrance area of the park Endless other ideas and opportunities We need a Funding Committee to research and implement these various tasks In Dallas. ongoing maintenance Research budgets of other open parks Etc« Use cost estimates from current parks ± most current parks have updated websites where you can find this information Grants ± Several grants available to apply for Sponsorship ± Seek out Corporate or Business Sponsorship for ongoing funding assistance. On going fundraising Dog washes Dog days« Selling items with profit going to park i.000 commitment. The group has obtained support from dog-related local businesses and corporations. Shirts. be needed for planning and also to present to the board Include costs for flyers.. land procurement. Some groups raise funds by selling T-shirts and dog-related items and holding such events as dog washes. ³You have to have the private support to make the funds happen ² that¶s essential. There are many many more others to search through on the internet ± I have a list of links that I can email 6 .1/20/2012 Have Will someone (treasurer) designated to this task.e.000 to pay for fencing and maintaining the city¶s first dog park.
Typical park rules include: Dogs : Must be licensed. every off-leash area should have prominent signs spelling out the rules for use and declaring that users do so at their own risk. As a minimum safeguard. etc.´ Tanick says. Most government agencies that sponsor off-leash areas have ³minimal´ exposure to liability if a dog bites or injures someone while off leash. You should also prepare to address the common concern of legal liability.1/20/2012 Go Public . a Minneapolis attorney and national counsel for the American Dog Owners Association. Must be accompanied by owner or handler Must have current vaccinations Must be spayed or neutered Must be under owners control at all times Owners : Must clean up after their pets. in the event of any legal claims. Tanick advises. May not bring other animals into the park May not have more than 3 dogs at a time Must IMMEDIATELY remove a problem dog Fill in any holes that your dogs dig Among many others« Developing and distributing a pamphlet outlining proposed dog park rules can help head off objections. Take surveys in the community to gain statistics and other useful information Create and distribute flyers in all available locations Visit businesses and recruit sponsership¶s Email blasts Twitter & Facebook posts & shares Talk to as many people as possible Have a presence/booth/stand at local events to gain support Gather Petitions Attend Borough Meetings and Park & Rec Board Meetings Present Idea to the Borough To counter objections from non-dog owners and city officials. He says park supporters¶ groups can reduce their risk by requiring dog owners who use the park to sign a document ³agreeing to indemnify and hold harmless the sponsoring organization. 7 . Offleash areas pose potential legal problems for dog owners and governing bodies. according to Marshall Tanick. experienced dog park advocates recommend spelling out proposed rules for users before a park is even established.Advocate on a local level ± add in newspaper.
Keep calm. When tactfully done this works for 90-95% of visitors.will have to do it if they don't (or risk losing the park).not paid staff .. don't praise fearful or aggressive behavior by "soothing" the dog with petting and cooing sounds. or dog owners must be educated not to allow them to occur by training their dogs and keeping them under control at all times. Unfortunately they aren't and they have the power to affect our progress. Dog fights can and do occur at times but how can they be avoided? Reduce the Risk .1/20/2012 A main concern is the spread of disease if it isn't picked up and then how the group plan to enforce pick up rules. Post signs . Your tone of voice and your body language will also make a big difference. The same is true for dogs. Some really may not know how to find the bags. Learn Basic Techniques to Intervine . We wish everyone were dog tolerant. Educate .Include information regarding this on the park signs in easily seen location(s). We Plan To . 8 . Provide clearly marked signs. The dogs that use it most successfully are dogs that were socialized very young and had good experiences as they visited. Provide doggie pickup bags and waste disposal recepticles in easily available locations. In promoting a dog park it helps to keep it in mind.. With time and effort visitors learn that they all have a stake in seeing that the park is kept clean. how to use them. Be prepared to address this and other issues with solutions to suggest to overcome these obstacles. It is especially effective in the smaller communities such as Boyertown. Assume either that the person missed the event (very often true) or that they simply don't know better. Have a volunteer available at most times to educate and encourage visitors. They step in and encourage or demand (as the case requires) leashes or removal of aggressive dogs.An active users group can reduce the risk of dog fights significantly.Most dogs are not aggressive because they are not on their own territory. Allowing even your friendly dog to touch people who have not invited it is one reason leash laws get so firmly established. This means that either the use area should be designed to reduce or prevent such unwanted interactions.Redirecting the dog's attention at exactly the right moment can make all the difference. Everyone understands that even if its cute it is not appropriate for even a youngster to run around kissing everyone in sight. Community peer pressure. and how badly it can screw things up if people don't do it. They may not understand that other people .
1/20/2012 City Will Require: Fence with Double gated Entry & Exit Nearby Parking Handicap accessability Water Fountains for Dogs & Owners Seating Shaded Area¶s Poop Clean Up Stations Trash Cans Insurance Plan of regular Maintenance & Up keep Have Clear Studies and Research to Back your Info Have Clean and Easy to Read Hand Outs Have Petitions from the Community Have Supporters present Community Socialization Resident Enjoyment Promotes Responsible Pet Ownership Promotes the Enforcement of Dog-Control Laws Gives Dogs an area to exercise safely without damaging others property Reduces Barking and other problem behaviors Seniors & Disabled Persons can have a place to exercise their dogs Most owners consider their dogs part of their family Scientific studies show that people find it easier to talk to each other when dogs are the initial focus ± this will bring the community closer Science proves that dogs improve people¶s health Dog Population is rapidly growing based on recent studies. ongoing commitment to help with cleanup and routine maintenance and to make sure dog owners follow the rules. Before the Seattle City Council approved the city¶s first off-leash area. it¶s usually necessary to make a definite. The group holds periodic work parties to do what¶s needed. 9 . members of COLA agreed to work with the city parks department as stewards of off-leash areas. To gain approval for a dog park. Scarce public funds lead most cities with dog parks to rely on the ongoing volunteer assistance of dog owners. Malmo says.
1. 4. Committee Directors? ownership.specific items costing ± Borough code and requirements. Location Research Committee 2. codes.1/20/2012 1. How to Organize our Group Pres. Deside on next Meeting Date and Time 10 . Chairs?. Secretary. Park Design Committee 3. Promotion ± recruiting volunteers Everyone Helps to Spread the Word!! Hand out flyers at events. News Article in Boyertown Times & Mercury & Reading Eagle? I already have this set up and running ± I can continue unless we get professional services donated by a local company. Vice Pres. insurance. Funding Committee Donations & Grants ± personal & corporate ± Events ± Incorporation as a Non-Profit ± Starting up a Charity Bank Account for Funds Physical layout . Website Maintenance 5. Post Flyers in Town. etc. Treasurer.
Patience and perseverance will result in the successful starting of your dog park. A Sincere Thank You Everyone for Coming and Getting Involved!! 11 .´ Good Communication is a key to any successful group. There will be routine clean-up and maintenance. along with making sure everyone follows the rules.1/20/2012 Starting a dog park is a huge undertaking and it¶s a group project it can take 2-3 years of planning and a tremendous amount of group effort before a dog park finally opens. Never forget that dog parks require an on-going commitment from everyone. Some of these obligations can be attended to through regular ³work parties.
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