Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ward Park

This weekend I checked out Ward Park, the maybe possible site of a proposed maybe off-leash area. It is off Main street between Busch's and Briarwood.

The place seems nice enough, there is a little play set and a big open area behind it. I presume that this open area is the maybe kinda sorta proposed area for the possibly later dog park that will be under discussion tomorrow. I think it could be a fine park, but I do have a few reservations.

First, the open area is currently covered in weeds and brush, largely consisting of thorn trees. Right now since the weeds haven't come up yet it would be a fine place to play, but to be usable in the summer, it will have to be cleared and mowed. Call me cynical, but I have to believe that clearing the area will involve another round of meetings and planning and cost us at least an additional month before we have an off-leash area.

Also, the notice for tomorrow night's planning meeting indicates that this location was chosen because of ample parking. There certainly is some street parking in the area, but there are exactly zero parking spots painted and designated for the park. In fact, Ward Park is nestled among some large apartment complexes and I can imagine that people will be tempted to use their lots for overflow. Unless I missed something (very possible since I didn't spend much time looking), there really isn't much more parking at Ward Park than any other park in town.

Those were my main observations. Ward could be a great place for a dog park; there are plenty of places in town that could be good candidates if the city would just quit dragging its feet and take action.

Don't forget about the planning meeting tomorrow. The main thing we need to find out is when Ward Park will be open, how we can be sure that it will really happen this time, and what the city will do to provide a solution for us in the interim.

1 comment:

Who Will Be Eaten First said...

I went for a stroll in Ward Park today. It's rained quite a bit in the last few days, so wet ground was to be expected. However, the place was a complete swamp. There was standing water everywhere; so much that it seems doubtful that just mowing will be sufficient to resolve the drainage issues. Since grading is clearly not in the budget, it's likely that any dog park here will be very wet and muddy after any reasonable amount of rain. Not a deal-breaker in my opinion but not optimal either.

To the city, the advantage of Ward Park is clearly that it's not being used for much. The property is mostly scrub with a couple of mown trails. It's hard to imagine that more than a few people use the non-playground area of the park. There also aren't many neighbors - another clear advantage for the city.

Oakbrook Dr has space for plenty of street parking, although there are no lines painted or signage indicating parking rules. If there's a time like Saturday mornings at Slauson when 20-30 people show up, parking might be an issue.

The location is decent for people who live on the west and south sides of town. However, it's very inconvenient for residents who live on the northeast side of town. Of course, as long as there's only one dog park, it's going to be inconvenient for at least some of the population.

As evidence of the assertion by local residents that there are existing issues with irresponsible dog owners, there was a large pile of poop right in the middle of one of the trails.