Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A dog park for Pinecrest? Absolutely. Adding more amenities to the Pinecrest Park & Recreation system is good for everyone!

Pinecrest is blessed with parks and park activities. What is missing? An off leash dog park. I would recommend a dog park to the residents of Pinecrest as a very positive addition to the Pinecrest Parks System.

Everyone should take the opportunity, with or without your dog, and spend some time at the Palmetto Bay Dog Park.  I am proud that as the first mayor of Palmetto Bay, I oversaw the council and residents working together on an outstanding parks master plan. The Dog Park was a natural use and we located the park at formerly neglected Perrine Wayside Park.  This is an award winning Dog Park and it provides unique activities where area residents can mix with their pets and other owners of dogs.

It’s the best dog park in Miami-Dade County – and incredibly popular... A wonderful place that’s not just for the family dog, but the entire family.  Maybe Pinecrest can wrest that title away from its neighbor to the South.  A little friendly competition benefits everyone. 

Dog Parks are a great place to mix.  We have taken our dogs, Ginger and our recent rescue, Timmy, to the dog park. It is not just a place for the dogs to run around – it is also for the owners to see both existing friends as well as meet new people with similar interests. Anyone who walk their pets through the neighborhood note that Dogs are great conversation icebreakers - it is a community builder. I can think of several examples of becoming more familiar with neighbors due solely to fact that they are suddenly out and about with a new pet.   Conversations at dog parks are no different than meeting and conversing with other adults while walking any of the trails, at the tot lots or watching your children at play in organized athletics. You might make more informed decisions about your next dog after seeing some of the many breeds in action at the park.  You might also discuss and discover a tip or a few on improving your pet ownership from those at the park.

All parks have their beneficial and less than beneficial sides. Does everyone clean up after their pet at Palmetto Bay’s dog park?  Well, no, but there are plenty of litterbugs at any parks and that has never stopped a new park from opening nor closed a single existing park. There are areas of Palmetto Bay’s Dog Park that show wear; areas where grass has been worn bare, but I would point to that as an example of success, of the popularity, of the amenity. 

Both Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest boast natural areas, walking trails, tennis courts and ball fields for football, baseball and softball.  Parks should be developed to support many diverse activities. A very significant percentage of South Miami Dade residents are pet owners.  Take the time to review Miami-Dade’s Parks and Open Space Master Plan which is available on the Internet. CLICK HERE to view (be patient, this link takes an unusually long time to open).  This was a well-done master plan and is a guide for all concerned with parks.    Note that parks “Parks should provide for a balance of active and passive users.”  Let’s work to add to the balance, not limit parks to merely the older traditional uses.

I would like to make a statement on location.  Pinecrest has an outstanding opportunity.  It boasts Pinecrest Veteran's Park. This park is similar to Palmetto Bay's Wayside Park.  This park is not currently competing for other uses. 

Now, due to its location on US 1, you might not feel comfortable taking time out there alone as one of very few visitors, but many people would feel safe and secure there when accompanied by their loyal canine, especially in the company of other dog owners and their pets. As a plus, wouldn't the visibility along US1 of a vibrant active dog park speak loudly, demonstrating for all to see, the benefits and activity diversity of the Pinecrest park system?  

Why would you ignore a popular park amenity used by many and not create a dog park? I recommend that you hound your local elected officials into a dog park. Get more information and get involved.  CLICK HERE to go to the Pinecrest Dog park online petition.  Those on facebook can CLICK HERE to view the Pinecrest Dog Park supporters page.  You can also "hound" your elected officials by e-mailing council@pinecrest-fl.gov.

It is exciting to watch grass roots efforts in action. The Dog Park is an outstanding project and I look forward to a positive result in Pinecrest with a new family dog park created in South Miami-Dade County.  Congratulations to all involved in this process including the Pinecrest officials who work hard at reaching their decisions.

1 comment:

  1. Vote yes for a Pinecrest Dog Park!