After a seven year journey by residents and dog owners in the northern part of Ward 4, the Department of Parks and Recreation has approved the application to establish a dog park at the Takoma Recreation Center.
The future park will be located in the triangle shaped area off of 5th St NW and next to the Indoor Swimming Facility. The site is currently being used as a staging ground for modular classrooms which will be used during Coolidge High School’s renovation.
Michael Cohen, a Core Volunteer of the Northern Ward 4 Dog Park Group, posted this message on the neighborhood listservs after learning about DPR’s decision:
I’m excited to announce that yesterday DC DPR approved our group’s application for the establishment of a dog park at the Takoma Recreation Center.
As many of you know, our approved site is currently being used as a staging area by DCPS for Coolidge modernization, and we won’t be able to begin construction until the improvements are finished in Spring of 2019.
The good news is that we now have plenty of time to do some fundraising, work out design kinks, and work with our elected officials to plan for the park.
Thanks to everyone who worked so hard on this. We still have a way to go, but this is a huge milestone.
Getting this application approved has been an unusually long and arduous journey. Although they are seemingly innocuous public recreation facilities, dog parks have been symbols of community division in many cities across the country. In some cases, there is a simple competition for a scarce resource – public green space – between “dog people” and “people people”. The Takoma dog park ran into opposition despite the presence of acres of unused or underutilized space at the Takoma Recreation center.
Because the dog park will not be built for several years, there is hope that both groups in the neighborhood can learn to work together to make Takoma one of the premiere all-purpose recreation green spaces in the city.