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Dog parks everywhere: Boston wants to ensure doggos have places to roam in every neighborhood

A city parks manager said yesterday that Boston is looking at how to put a dog park in every neighborhood - potentially good news for residents in the city's southern half, who currently have none and who have been repeatedly rebuffed by state officials on the large expanses of state parkland in the area.

The issue came up last night in a meeting about rebuilding the playground and paths at West Roxbury's Millennium Park. Although they knew it was "out of scope" for the meeting, several residents brought up the issues of dogs and a possible dog park at the large park along the Charles River.

"We're working toward a dog park in every neighborhood," Allison Perlman, a Parks and Recreation project manager for the Millennium Park work, said.

Park regular David Wean of Roslindale, said Millennium really needs a dog park if only to isolate the "really entitled" dog owners who now let their unleashed animals roam free, no matter how many signs parks workers put up about dog leashing. "Two friends of mine have been attacked by loose dogs," he said.

Perlman acknowledged she's heard stories like that from so many people.

"Perhaps Millennium Park is an ideal location for a dog park," she said, adding, however, "We haven't looked into it yet."

However, the same issue that will make it challenging to put in a new playground and possibly a permanent restroom building will likely doom any dog park proposal: The fact that the park sits atop five decades worth of Boston trash, which is sealed in mainly by plastic sheeting.

In fact, several years ago, dog owners in West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Roslindale organized to get a dog park built in southwest Boston - and originally proposed one for Millennium Park, only to be told that was impossible because of concerns any construction might puncture or damage the lining.

So they found a spot in the state's Stony Brook Reservation, raised $10,000 to design a dog park at a long abandoned playground facility for children with disabilities and spent a couple of years working with DCR on the plans, only to be foiled by state Rep. Angelo Scaccia of Hyde Park, who managed to kill the plans, which led DCR to come up with an alleged alternative plan to make an entire third of the reservation into a dog park, which, of course, it then never followed through on.

In 2018, DCR proposed a dog park on a stretch of the Southwest Corridor Park in Jamaica Plain. DCR shelved those plans last year.

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Comments

Makes as much sense as demanding a place for your dog to have a place to run because you know, you have a dog.

You want a dog, pay up for a private dog park.

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Why are we wasting public land just so children have a place to play?

You want a child, pay up for a private child park.

I shouldn't have to give up something minimal that would be helpful to others just because there's high demand for it from the people who live here.

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Dont compare children to pets!

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Unlike children, some people are actually excited to meet strangers' pets.

Also, pets can be trained.

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I've been wandering about the mindset of people who let their dogs roam playgrounds and courts. Thanks for further insight.

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or a child.

But I'm at least conscious enough to realize that not everything in society needs to be directly targeted to benefit me.

(also, if you're upset about dogs roaming playgrounds and courts, you should be excited about having more dog parks so there's a place for dogs to be that they'll go instead!)

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There is no instead. The dogs will be in both places.

In the mean time, people who have a hard time being in the same space as dogs (allergic, fearful, don't like being licked, don't like dodging the remnants of scooped-poop) will still feel like they can't use public parks when dogs are there, only now there'll be even less park for them because some will become dog parks and be overrun by dogs whilst there'll still be a few unleashed dogs in the parks/spaces where dogs don't belong (Oh it's OK he's just really friendly! Don't be mad she's just a puppy! Fluffy behave -- he never does that).

And, of course, more dog parks means more Bostonians will now get dogs, exacerbating the problem.

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That's a stretch...

Children do. Fido doesn't.

Get back to me when Lassie picks up your trash, drives your bus, operates on you, serves your food, brews your beer, approves your bank loan. If you value the life of a ball licking four legged creature on the same level as another human, seek help.

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Remind Me How Dogs Turn Into Tax Payers Again? Children do. Fido doesn't.

Basketballs don't turn into tax payers either, nor do tennis rackets. and yet we have public basketball courts and public tennis courts.

Because, of course, the primary users of basketball courts, tennis courts, and dog parks are not basketballs, tennis rackets, and dogs; the primary users are people.

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Dogs don't lie, start wars, inflict poverty, discharge firearms, or enslave other beings. They're absolutely better than people.

That having been said, maybe one shouldn't purchase a dog if one can't ensure their joy independent of government assistance.

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can also kill and and/or maim other dogs and people. So, what was your weak point, again?

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We’ll file that under “start wars.”

You refuted one of my five points. I’m still batting .800. Hardly weak.

Pretty sure people kill way more .... people .... than dogs do!

Breeds don't; dogs owned/raised by shitty people do.

You managed to miss multiple points in one stupid comment.

But hey, I suppose those dogs in the dog park are all there on their own, huh? Just a bunch of feral dogs who've all decided to hang out in the dog park? They're not there accompanied by garbagemen, busdrivers, doctors, waitstaff, brewers, or bankers? That's pretty amazing if so - please let me know where I can see this miraculous collection of dogs that aren't being kept by taxpaying humans who have opinions on how their taxes are spent.

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Remember you are not a
Dog owner your now a
pet parent!

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Let's see...they are in the armed services. They are in the police. They are in search and rescue. Shall I go on?

Never mind the fact that their owners are tax payers who yes, should be able to have some space to bring their pets. You bitch about dogs being in public parks...now your bitching about dogs/owners having space for dog parks. Kinda sounds like you just like to bitch.

Get back to us when parents stop thinking they are special and deserve everything over everyone else just b/c they have spawn.

*disclaimer* - not all parents

On that subject, why are we building a playground here? If you want kids, pay up for a private yard!

Or maybe, since we all live in a city and share land and resources, it's okay to use some parkland for dogs, some for kids, and some for general activities?

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How about a small tax on dog licenses, to fund this program? Kind of like how hunting and fishing licenses fund game land acquisition and management and stocking lakes with fish.

Did you skip over the part of the article that said, the Dog Park Association (of Hyde Park and other neighborhoods south of the central city) raised ten thousand dollars for a feasibility study to turn an area which already has paths and is totally fenced in, which is currently UNUSED altogether, except as a hangout for delinquents and drug users? There is a lot of interest in a dog park, there is fallow space that could easily be turned into one, and it would make the area a lot safer for everyone nearby, than it is now. Some taxpayers own dogs, some have children, some drive cars while others take the T, some have/use all of the above...public services should benefit the public, even though every expenditure might not directly benefit every single taxpayer at all times.

As it is, the dog license fee--which goes to Animal Control in Boston--probably covers expenses like picking up carcasses of dead skunks from the roads, and dealing with the bands of marauding turkeys--those are things that benefit the general public but they're funded by only a small segment of taxpayers. Generous people, those dog owners!

I don’t have a car so why should I pay tax dollars to maintain the everyone’s free parking on public land?

Clearly, car owners should be providing their own parking.

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Bocce courts? Basketball courts? Tennis courts? Swimming pools? Boat ramps?

Should these all be private-only? Or is there a role for government to provide shared-use recreational facilities.

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I don't hate dogs. Not at all.

Just people comparing the needs of their dog to the needs of a child is ridiculous.

What's next, MassHealth for Cats? A lot of people like cats. I like my cat, but I am not demanding taxpayer subsidized services for my cat. The dog people are.

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Maybe I've missed it somehow, but I'd imagine the majority of dogs in the city are not working jobs or something, but actually there for...surprise - human benefit and development.

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I can count on you to back my giraffe park with public funds, because it will make me feel really good to see Stretch run around in the park and up my happy endorphins? Same logic as a dog park.

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.... African Savannah. It’s cruel to keep wild animals as pets.
Meanwhile I suggest you adopt a dog from the Animal Rescue League. You’ll understand better how a relationship with a canine enriches human lives. It will likely even lower your blood pressure according to recent studies.

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and sure, why not? I'm not sure why you're so confused about the idea of "we should fund things that are wanted by large numbers of the population and don't cost that much to do and aren't harmful to anyone else".

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We don't need to provide you a park for your giraffe because you would have already needed to have proven you have an adequate habitat for your giraffe when your permit was approved. You do have a permit from MassWildlife, correct?

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A lot of people have the same mindset for dogs. If you don’t have adequate space for them to run and exercise, or won’t put the effort into finding appropriate spaces, should you have a dog?

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petitioning the city to block off some existing space to have room for your dog to run and exercise would constitute "effort into finding appropriate spaces", but that's just me.

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That is more creating than finding, but yeah.

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When you say "won’t put the effort into finding appropriate spaces" do you mean finding places like a dog park?

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Yes, you know the people who commandeer a park that is meant for humans and dogs on leashes. The people who let their dogs run freely knowing their at a “leashed” park. For instance, those who took over Hemenway Park in Dorchester, rather than taking their dog to an actual dog park.

For the eight-hundredth time, there are no "actual dog parks." Your frustration is valid, but there are literally no dog parks in this area or ones that are easily accessible by car.

If a significant number of people would make use of it in a way that would improve their quality of life.

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I can count on you to back my giraffe park with public funds, because it will make me feel really good to see Stretch run around in the park and up my happy endorphins?

Sure! We'll pull the land for the park from the same place you pulled your imaginary giraffe.

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Nobody sane is talking about dogs as though they were children.

Playing with one’s dog off leash is a form of recreation, just like playing bocce or tennis. We dedicate public facilities for all three, even though the majority of people don’t use them.

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All The Places You Talk About Are For Human Development

Bocce courts?

Okay.

There are a lot of dumb things written in the comments on this website, but this is one of the dumbest I've seen yet. Kudos to you for that.

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City of Boston Property Taxes just went up 30+ % for many of us. I want to know why the heck some of that money is going to be used for Defecation/Urination/Play Parks for dogs. I want an abatement because I do not own a dog.

Or, if you own a dog in Boston, I propose you should be assessed a specific amount for each dog. That could be used for Defecation/Urination/Play Parks and also to clean up the feces on sidewalks and streets.

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How would that work? Perhaps some kind of permit for canines. Perhaps the dog could somehow carry this permit around with them so that City officials could check to see that they have paid their fee...that is a groundbreaking idea there anon.

Oh wait...isn't that called a Dog License?

https://www.cityofboston.gov/animals/licenseapp/

How much do you pay for your parking permit?

Just because you don't own a dog doesn't mean the city shouldn't allocate space for those who do. I don't own a car, but I don't begrudge people who need to park theirs. I don't play tennis, I am not asking for an abatement for that.

What's next, you gotta beef with ramps or designated handicapped spaces because you are not disabled?

Welcome to living in a community...it ain't all about you.

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Stop equating play parks for dogs with ramps for people who are physiclly disabled.

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C'Mon John. You know it is.

“ You want a dog, pay up for a private dog park.”

Do you feel the same about cars? Cars cause far more problems than dogs and take up far more real estate in on street parking.
Woof!

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Next?

... I’ll take it that you agree with me that we need to eliminate on street parking and dedicate that space to things that better serve the community.

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I can afford off-street parking.

Just remember all the people who will suffer though when they can't get to the dog park because they can't afford to keep a car on the street that will take Wags to the park and give their owners pleasure.

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With on street parking removed that frees up a lot of street space that can be turned over to bus and bike lanes, wider sidewalks and other things that make getting around Boston without a car a lot easier and cheaper.

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How much digging do you need to do for a dog park? OK, it needs a fence. If the topsoil is REALLY that thin, you could build weighted bases for the fence posts on top of the soil.

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that we don't need. Let your dog piss in your own yard and shit on that cheap sofa you bought at Bernie and Phil's.

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That has nothing to do with avoiding digging on top of a landfill to not hit the plastic sheeting though.

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Say 830 pm until dawn?

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it’s not fair for dogs to be stuck in condos/apartments and can’t run around a few times a day. City living is not fair to dogs.

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You could say the same for children.

The point here is that some parents feel entitled to have tax payers pay for playgrounds (and schools!) and then complain about their taxes being used for a dog park.

I don't play tennis, baseball, soccer or basketball...but i know fellow citizens do and am happy to contribute to keeping ppl healthy and happy. I don't have children but am happy to pay for a playground that I will never use and am happy to pay even more for a school system I will never use.

Seems to me that some parents these days are just selfish and narrow minded if it's doesn't benefit them or their kids.

I'm fine with dog parks but people who live in condos should only get small dogs, in fairness to the animals not for any larger societal reason.

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perhaps you should not have a dog?

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Just like if you live in a small apartment, you should not have children? This is absurd. Animals bring people joy, they are an enormous positive for mental health, they help people get exercise, and in this pandemic in particular, their pets have been their life lines. Conversely, some folks cannot live elsewhere. They are unquestionably an investment, but all of these points assume dog owners aren't entitled to expect anything from their government which ignores that the city has literally built dog parks in the South End, Southie, and East Boston but not our area which has much more space available for one. And other cities offer them.

And will they be maintained as well as the people parks are?

Something needs to be done about the unleashed dogs at Millennium Park. It’s really bad there, and the owners are absolutely clueless.

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May we have a cat park, too, please? Secure from dogs.

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But it would have to be safe from other cats as well. Cats just don’t make instant pals the way dogs do.

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But it would have to be safe from other cats as well. Cats just don’t make instant pals the way dogs do.

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Most dog owners are respectful and follow the rules.

There is a park near me that used to be a drinking hangout for local teens. The presence of dogs and their owners has eliminated that. From my observation, most of the trash and cigarette butts are generated from people playing softball. There are plenty of parks that accommodate a dog park. More use at more hours makes parks safer, and more people feel safer using them.

And finally, Donald Trump did not have a dog.

Good. Because dog shit is all over the sidewalks. Or is that human shit?

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