Why Watertown Should Create Fillipello Dog Park

Sustainable Watertown Supports Dog Park at Fillipello by Barbara Ruskin

From Conservation Commission hearing on October 3, 2012

The Dog Park Task Force, a part of Sustainable Watertown, is working to support the creation of an off-leash dog park here. It would be a fine example of a sustainable addition to the vitality, character, and quality of life in Watertown.

Off-leash dog parks have been very successful in surrounding towns and across the nation. The responsible departments in Cambridge and Arlington have given us encouragement and a lot of information and feel that their dog parks have been a great addition. Dog officers believe that dog parks make their jobs easier.

There are all kinds of dog parks, from a simple circle 30' in diameter with a fence and a gate. There are giant ones as well--the Disney of dog parks is said to be in Somerville. Some have benches with cover for owners. One has a time-out space for naughty dogs. The best have a water spigot, doggie bags, posted rules, and a trash can. They can be grassy, or pea stone which seems to be the long term surface of choice with, or without trees for shade.

A dog park is consistent with the mission of public parklands and open space. The former incinerator site on Grove Street has the advantage of being a good sized area already fenced in. It is in a well-travelled area which helps people feel safe (typically there are no lights and use is the same as that of sports fields, approximately sun up to sun down). It needs no remediation to be healthy. There are already mature trees along the present fencing and there is enough land beside it which can be designed into a beautiful entrance to Filipello Park with attractive plantings and signage. A dog park in this location would be in use all year long and would not detract in any way from proposed sports areas such as bocce and volleyball on the extra basketball courts freed up in the move of the recycling center. Dog Parks are well used in all seasons and will typically draw residents from every part of town, in every age group, and both families and singles. It is a wonderful place for neighbors to meet and socialize.

We appreciate that the original park designer is willing to think creatively about a dog park. We hope that the Conservation Commission will seriously consider the Grove Street site during discussions of the Town's departments, commissions, and residents as they work to create the wonderful amenity of an off-leash dog park for residents of Watertown.


Dog Parks Are Not For the Dogs by Louise Hozid

From Conservation Commission hearing on October 3, 2012

Dog parks are great places for people. They are also very good places for dogs. With very little construction or maintenance, a small parcel of land becomes a magical spot that has unique power to bring together diverse groups of people from all corners of a community. Throughout the day and throughout the year people across ages, backgrounds, sizes, shapes, heights, marital statuses, educations, and dog statuses gather for free fun! Dog-owners, dog owner “wanna-bees,” and dog-lovers (who do not have or even want a dog of their own), gather in a lively, people-friendly social spot, brought together by their joy in spending time playing with their dogs and with each others’ dogs, and with each other! Dog parks are simple - a stretch of open space, a path for walking, a few benches and picnic tables, trees and bushes, and a two-level water spigot (to accommodate all levels of thirst), people, and dogs. Voila! An incomparably spontaneous, recreational place for people and dogs. Dog parks quickly become a mix of singles and couples, a great place for community newcomers as well as long time town folks, teens, babies and toddlers, and, of course dogs. Dog parks are a great community resource for free fun, recreation, and town pride and spirit.

Oh yes, dog parks are also great places for dogs to romp and play, but perhaps just as important, dog parks are also great for building human communities too!


Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer