Ann Arbor goes to the dogs

November 5, 2012 by  

Officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan, responded on October 30 to citizens who are asking for an additional dog park. There are already two off-leash dog parks in the city, but dog lovers say this is inadequate. Also, the two parks are on the outskirts, forcing downtown residents to drive to them. The proposed park would be in a much more central location, just to the west of downtown.

The city’s current pooch-friendly parks are the Swift Run Dog Park, a 10-acre area, and the slightly smaller Olson Park. The proposed new park would be approximately half the size of Olson Park. Ann Arbor’s manager of parks and recreation, Colin Smith, said the city was considering fencing off a grassy area near Chapin Street where the city recently demolished a house.

Smith was enthusiastic about this site, noting that this property has a few trees, a feature missing from the other parks. There are also drinking fountains at both human and dog height, plus lighting for the parking lot. Smith noted that the estimated expenditure needed to create the park is less than $25,000. He also said the city would consider neighborhood feedback before moving forward with the plan.

The new venture is in line with the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Open Space Plan, which the City Council adopted in March, 2011. The plan recommended the city consider creating another dog park nearer downtown.

Ann Arbor might consider publishing flyers for mailing that would explain the new park to residents and the reasons for developing it. It could include a map of the new facility.