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How about an Eastside Hill dog park?

Submitted by Editor on June 23, 2010 – 10:28 pm | Print or Email »6 Comments

by Nick Meyer, Emery Street

Since moving into the Eastside Hill Neighborhood last summer, and then adopting our Treeing Walker Coon Hound, Walter, last fall, I’ve started to notice the seemingly high percentage of neighborhood residents who have dogs. They’re everywhere. It makes us feel great to live in such a dog-friendly neighborhood.

We visit the dog park on Eau Claire’s south side almost every week (and are looking forward to checking out the new 50-acre park in Chippewa Falls), but with its location way out past Sam’s Club, it’s just not that convenient. It always feels weird to load Walter in the car to drive him out to the park for exercise, I’d rather be able to walk him to one close by. More importantly, I’ve never felt a great sense of community out there – something dog parks can often be credited as helping create. It’s nice, and most people are friendly, but it’s a dog park serving the entire city and surrounding area – I want one just for our neighborhood.

So, I’m wondering if there’s interest or feasibility in creating our own Eastside Hill Dog Park. One that’s closer for us all, and a place we can meet our neighbors or maybe even have some sort of yearly dog social event. It wouldn’t have to be all that big if it’s mostly serving only our neighborhood – just a space big enough for the dogs to run up to full speed and play. Perhaps users could pay a small yearly fee of $10 or so, which could then be turned over to the city for their help with mowing and maintenance. Physically, all you really need is some fence, a couple of “trash” containers, and a sign with the rules. If it gets popular, maybe add a bench or two and a water source. I’d think the neighborhood could raise the fence money fairly easily with a few fundraiser events. And maybe seek out a grant.

So, obviously, the next question is where to put it. To get the idea rolling, here are some location ideas:

  • Part of Archery Park?
  • Part of that more “wild” part of Boyd Park?
  • Part of Forest Hill Cemetery?
  • Something along East Grand Ave.?
  • Something across the EC River by Banbury?
  • Some underused empty plot I haven’t seen?
  • Anyone have any other ideas?

I think such an addition to the neighborhood would make it an even more desirable place to live for many people who value these sorts of amenities, and could go a long way towards building an even greater sense of community.

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  • jim says:

    It would be cool to have a dog park closer to the east hill.

    Although, I would be totally against any development of east hill wild areas, like Boyd and Archery parks to do so. We have enough empty, under used space that could be reconditioned for dog use. Let’s not take already wild, park space and develop it for a chain link recreation area for dogs. There are lots of ways for dogs and owners to enjoy many of the east hill’s wild areas without a “dog park.” Many people and dogs already use the those spaces for bonding exercise.

    Going for a walk is one of the best activities for you and your dog…..and you don’t need a fenced in area to do it!

  • Mauricea says:

    OH I dream of a dog park to walk to. We always walk our dogs in the cemetary but they would love to be able to run free.

  • Mary Yates says:

    I like the idea of using that part of Boyd Park that is not really used.

  • Hilary says:

    Isn’t there still some available land on the other side of the bridge from Archery Park that could be used?

  • ted barr says:

    If you read the recommendations of the Professional Dog Trainer’s Association, there are no places on the Eastside Hill suitable for accommodating a dog park, primarily due to to size limitations. The city owned property to the east of Boyd Park, which was Uniroyal overflow parking back in the day, then a city snow dump and most recently planted with prairie grasses and flowers by Eastside Hill neighbors, is not large enough by PDTA standards. Neither is Archery Park.

    There are some undeveloped, publicly owned parcels that aren’t too far away, however. The 15+ acres the city owns on Galloway west of Birch St. comes to mind. It’s not even a mile from the north abutment of our walk bridge at Boyd Park.

  • Dana Knudtson says:

    Love the idea of a dog park!

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