Why do we need a dog park?
Urban dog parks provide an amenity and service that brings people together, encourages use of public space and promotes active living. Whether someone is a dog owner or not, dog parks are a way to create a sense of place for city residents and visitors. There are a number of benefits that are realized with an attractive and diverse parks system, including an enhanced quality of life and increased tourism dollars. This is especially true as more and more people travel with their dogs.
Where will the location be? Why?
This past December, the City approved the lawn space at what was previously called Veteran's Park at Bay and Division St. as the site of the City’s first off-leash dog park. This location was recommend by the Parks and Recreation Commission for its accessibility to people on foot as well as people who choose to drive. It is also an under-performing park that is maintained but sees little use. This is another way to increase the use of our parks system that includes over 30 parks. There will be a name change to the park in the near future.
Who is funding the park?
The City of Traverse City has always benefited from a generous culture of volunteerism and financial contributions. It has helped us achieve much more than what would be otherwise possible. Luckily, there is pent-up energy and support for establishing a dog park in the community so we anticipate being able to raise the money through private and business donations to the City. Beginning in February, there will be a more organized community outreach both online and with community events. Please consider donating whether you have a dog or not. Dog parks enhance the quality of life of a community. To send a donation directly to the City's Parks and Recreation Department click the “Make your donation here” button on the home page of this website for a printable pdf.
When would the park be open to the public?
We hope to have raised enough funds by the end of April 2012 to have a breaking ground ceremony this coming May.
How will the dog park be maintained?
The same rules apply to the dog park as in other areas of the City. Visitors are responsible for cleaning up their pet's excrement, as well as maintaining control of their dog. The City will provide the proper on-site communication and park design to encourage desired behavior. The City currently maintains this park, which was another defining reason in choosing this space. All parks within the City are continually evaluated for use and maintenance.
Will there be a limit on the number of dogs allowed at one time?
This is an urban dog park that isn't meant to be a substitute for walking a pet. Its primary function is socialization and bringing dog lovers together. Initially, there won't be any hard limits set for the number of dogs, however, people need to be responsible and recognize when perhaps it might be better to wait. With just over a half an acre, there is a good amount of space to accommodate everyone throughout different times of the day.
What amenities will the park provide?
Our main goal right now is to raise the funds to provide the basics needed for a safe, inviting and comfortable dog park--which primarily means the proper fencing, waste handling amenities and a water source. We estimate about $15,000 is needed to achieve this and hope to raise the money by the end of April, early May 2012.