Donna Curtis: Does Carson City need more and better dog parks?
September 2, 2017
The Foundation for Carson City Parks and Recreation will be holding a community-wide meeting on Sept. 14 to discuss interest in reforming a group to work on improving existing, or building, dog parks in Carson City.
Why dog parks with all the open space and dog-friendly parks in Carson City?
Not everyone is able to climb the hills and many people fear their dogs will run out into traffic chasing other dogs, rabbits, etc. Dog parks are fully fenced with cyclone fences at least six feet tall, and like the dog park at Fuji Park, have separate areas for smaller dogs and another area for all dogs. If they're well equipped, there's seating for people to socialize and play equipment for the dogs, shade trees, water and more.
Why do we need another group to improve or build new dog parks in Carson City? What happened to the group, Parks 4 Paws?
After earning more than $20,000 from fundraisers over several years, Parks 4 Paws (P4P) became inactive a few years ago. Most of the fencing, shade trees and benches were provided by P4P at Fuji Dog Park and there's still several thousand dollars left over in the foundation's accounts.
The main problem with Fuji Dog Park is the surface is of decomposed granite. It's dusty and if it gets wet from rain or snow, quite dirty. Nobody likes little FiFi turning from white to muddy brown. People would much prefer to see grass, but the Parks Department needs more funds to install grass and maintain it. Right now, no city funds are budgeted for dog park improvements. A new group could use the funds from the foundation and fundraise for more, and perhaps apply for grants to put grass in at Fuji Dog Park and add more benches and shade trees, particularly in the smaller dog section. Perhaps there could be a much nicer water system, too.
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Also, a group could fund more play equipment for Fuji and pay for amenities at new dog parks in Carson City. Right now, land and some improvements are slated for the Lompa Ranch Subdivision proposed dog park, and a there's a new dog park proposed at the John D. Winters Centennial Park. Little if any further action on these parks would take place for many years unless there's a group involved in encouraging these dog parks be developed in the near future.
Dog parks don't have to be large; in fact, smaller areas are easier to manage, especially if there are many dog parks. Also, more dog parks will be more convenient to get to.
What happens if there's no interest in forming a dog park group (which could be essentially reviving Parks 4 Paws)?
If people aren't interested, the foundation will recommend to the Parks Department how best to expend the remaining funds in the P4P account. It could be for some dog park improvements, given to CASI for the animal shelter and/or related benefits to pets, or used for something else entirely.
But it could be easy to revive P4P or start a new group to work on dog parks. Under the umbrella of the FCCPR, a dog park group would have nonprofit status and all of the required reporting and fiscal matters would be taken care of by the foundation. If the group does form as P4P, there's already a logo and a history of fundraising efforts the group can refer to.
If you're interested but can't make the meeting on Sept. 14, please email me at email@example.com. I will let you know what transpires and pass your contact information onto any group that's formed.
Please tell your friends with dogs about the meeting. The meeting is in the Bonanza Room of the Carson City Community Center on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.
Donna Curtis is a member of the Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission.