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2009 Dog Park Updates
It’s time for some updates on the status of new dog parks. We’ve been fielding lots of calls and emails. There’s some good news and bad news…

The good news is that the Estabrook Dog Exercise Area should open sometime in August according to our update from the county last week. There was more work than anticipated needed to clear and re-grade the site to minimize run off. They also needed to seed the area with grass, which takes a while to establish. So, stayed tuned for an announcement about the grand opening!

Now for the bad news…The public hearing for the Bay View Park DEA showed there is strong support for a dog park in that area but there are some issues with the site including St Francis (the municipality where it is actually located) not being entirely supportive and other groups concerned about fencing areas along the lake. So for now, a Bay View DEA is on hold. ROMP would like to take a look at Humboldt Park again and we are continuing to advocate for a dog park in that area. If you live in Bay View, keep talking to your county supervisors!

The dog park at Lake Park on Lincoln Memorial Dr is also on hold. The Lakefront Development Advisory Committee (LDAC) expressed concerns over the size. It would be a small site, about an acre, and it was feared that it would get easily over run since there are so many dogs on the east side. The issue of fencing areas along the lake was also brought up. We hope with Estabrook opening, we can revisit that site next year since that might ease concerns over it being over crowded. We do have other sites on the east side on our list we can look in the future including Kern Park and a possible private land donation we are looking into thanks to the help of some savvy Riverwesterners.

The Currie DEA is also on hold for now. That site was very small and the county now has similar concerns that it may be too small and become over run. If we have more medium-sized dog parks open, then the smaller, neighborhood ones, may not get over used so we want to refocus our efforts on some larger sites.
So what does this all mean?  We have $250k to spend with only some of the funds spent so far on Estabrook.  So, we just need to move on to some new sites.  We are working with the county to look at other sites and build two more dog parks this year. The good news is that these sites are actually larger than Lake, Bay View and Currie combined so we will hopefully end up with more acreage devoted to dog parks.. We are unable to disclose the alternative sites at this time but hope to get things moving quickly.

The Parks Dept. remains committed to getting more dog parks established. It’s just a matter of getting the right sites so that they are viewed as positive additions to the community and can be successfully run. If we don’t get this right, we may not have the opportunity again.

So, what can you do?

Attend public meetings when we announce them. This is critical dog owners are heard.

Support ROMP! We need volunteers to help us with upcoming events including:
- Grand opening of the Estabrook DEA
- A concert on the lakefront for dogs (Fri, Sept 4, think Jazz in the Park but classical music)
- Annual doggy dips (last Sun in Aug and on Labor Day)
- Washington Bark Day (Sun, Sept 13, vendor booths, lure coursing, games & more!)

We need people to help plan these events as well as volunteer for them. If you are interested in getting involved, email [email protected].
It takes a tremendous amount of work to maintain our partnership with the county and ensure we have a seat at the table when it comes to having input in the decisions as well as put on these events, which are main source of fundraising. Fundraising is becoming more critical to us as the county budget gets further cut. Last year we helped pay for the dog waste bags at the Runway otherwise they would have not been available. We’d love to get more people involved in these activities so don’t be shy!!
  © 2003 Residents for Off-leash Milwaukee Parks, Inc.