How about an Eastside Hill dog park?
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.