Need for Dog Park
Humboldt Park is huge and my dog is well behaved. Why should my dog use an enclosed dog park rather than running free?
We are firm believers that leash laws have a purpose. As much as we all love our dogs, they are animals. A dog who is perfectly well-behaved most days may another day have an injury or illness, or may be startled, causing it to act out. Leashes help to make sure you are in control of your dog at all times, and, importantly, send a signal to others using the park (whether they have a dog with them or not) that they do not need to fear that your dog will be able to act aggressively toward them. We believe that the park is for everyone, and it is not fair to others to expect that they avoid the park to avoid potential conflict with an off-leash dog running free.
This dog park would provide your dog with space to run free to get the exercise it needs, but within a larger enclosed space, providing other park users with the peace of mind they deserve. We hope to make the dog park as large as the city will support to give you as much exercise room as we can.
We’ve been working on this since the summer of 2016, so we are also very eager to see this come to life. In Feb 2018 we received conceptual approval on our initial application. This was the approval we needed to move forward with the next step of a year-long site survey to ensure any other uses for the location will not conflict. We are gearing up for our site survey now (Mar 2018) while also beginning to plan our efforts around fundraising, park design, and public neighborhood meetings to gather community feedback, after which we will be able to submit our full proposal and await approval. It is very difficult to estimate a completion date at this time given that we are still so early in the process but we hope to see it open in late 2019 or early 2020.
This used to be the case but we believe this hasn’t been for at least the last 1-2 years. If there is any conflict like this during a short period of time, we would expect to work with the community to find a solution, possibly even closing the dog park during that window.
When selecting the location, we considered several areas within Humboldt Park, seeking to strike the right balance between underutilized space and ease of access to residents surrounding the park. We felt that it’s important that the park be fairly centrally located within Humboldt Park in order to make it accessible to all of our neighbors. In our observations so far, this particular location sees little traffic on typical days, and will not conflict with the many other wonderful uses of the park such as the baseball stadium, ball fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, beach, Field House, Boat House, museum, sledding hill, lagoons, or nature reserve areas. While there are ball fields just north of this location, their outfields face away from the proposed dog park so will not conflict with summertime activities.
Part of the review process with the Chicago Park District is to survey the location at various points throughout the year to validate whether this location is as underused as we believe it is. We will share our findings as we conduct this important step.
We’re aiming to use materials that are friendly to pet paws while still providing a safe and sanitary environment that is easy to maintain. As part of the design phase we will look for the best solution we can find and present it to the public for additional feedback.
Our plan is to have a separate enclosed space at this location for smaller dogs. Owners of small breeds may choose whether to use the larger area to run with larger breeds, or to keep their pet in the small dog area.