Monday, May 1, 2017

Where's the Dog Park?

This morning, a notice came into my inbox about Bark for Your Park 2017, a grant program that will award five $25,000 prizes to help build new dog parks, ten $10,000 prizes to enhance existing dog parks, and ten $5,000 prizes to upgrade parks with new equipment. The period for submitting applications begins today, May 1, and runs through June 30.

A recent conversation with someone fairly new to Hudson put the topic of a dog park back on my radar. Folks in Hudson have been talking about a dog park for at least six years. Three years ago, in June 2014, more than a year before she became mayor, Tiffany Martin Hamilton initiated a GoFundMe campaign for a dog park. That campaign raised $7,025 of the $10,000 that was set as its goal, and, so far as I can tell, the campaign is still active and able to accept donations. Another $25,000 would help us build a pretty good dog park, so I figured I would take the initiative and complete the grant application. At Step 1: What's Needed to Apply for a Grant, however, I was reminded of why the dog park initiative in Hudson is dead in the water. 

The following is quoted from Step 1 of the grant application: "Your community must also find land and have it approved for use as a dog park. Most importantly, you'll also need to have your civic leaders document their support of the proposed dog park as well as their willingness to complete the project if your community is chosen." Finding land--there's where everything has stopped in the past. But we've got two months before the application is due. Maybe we can still pull it off.

Charles Williams Park is the biggest and most underutilized park in the city. The original plans for the park included a fenced area where dogs could romp off leash. That element of the original plan for the park, along with many others, was never developed.

The "dog run" that was part of the original plan for Charles Williams Park is sadly inadequate for a dog park (the size of dog park is usually a minimum of half an acre), but there is lots of unused space in Charles Williams Park, and certainly half an acre of it could be devoted to a dog park. What's needed, it seems to me, is consensus among dog owners that this would be a good location, a concession from the people who live on Mill Street that their lives would not be ruined by having a dog park in proximity to their homes, and a resolution of support from the Common Council.

Can this be achieved in two months time? Here's one dog who hopes it can happen.

Although Joey is a regular at the dog park in Germantown and sometimes visits the dog park in Athens (where this picture was taken), he sure would like to have a dog park in his hometown.


  1. Start looking somewhere else. If I remember correctly , that ward want noting to do with DOGS. I always thought the vacant and unused parcel of land adjacent to the Social service building was perfect, plenty of parking etc. it is between Oakdale and the railway tracks,and it is city property. There also vacant land at the other end of S.S. building.. Just a thought

    1. With the redrawing of the ward boundaries, Charles Williams Park is now in a different ward.

  2. Let's get this done! Being new to Hudson, I don't know much about the history of such efforts but I know that it's imperative for dogs to have a safe place to run off-leash.