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$1,000 fines spur Patterson dog park group

Baltimore city’s new (and under reconsideration) $1,000 fine for unleashed dogs has reinvigorated the long-running effort to establish a dog park in Patterson Park, and the group behind it has called a meeting for Thursday night to assess the situation and seek support.

The Patterson Dog Park Steering Committee has arranged a “meet-and-greet/show of support” at the restaurant Three, located at the corner of E. Baltimore and S. Linwood. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and Three has agreed to extend its Happy Hour specials for the crowd that is expected.

“Prior to and especially now in light of the $1,000 off-leash dog fine, the Patterson Dog Park Steering Committee had revitalized our efforts for an established fenced dog park within Patterson Park. We have been receiving a great amount of new support from local community members and would like to introduce ourselves and meet other advocates for a dog park within Patterson Park…” a committee member explained.

Efforts to establish a dog park at Patterson have been going on for at least four years, and serve as a testament to just how difficult the city has made the process — even though the mayor and several council members have spoken of the need for more dog parks.

In a ribbon cutting for the first city-funded dog park at Latrobe Park in Locust Point (the city will pay to build, but not maintain the park, scheduled to open this summer), Mayor Sheila Dixon promised as many as eight dog parks in Baltimore.

Currently, there is only one small and often crowded dog park in Baltimore, Canton Dog Park, which was built and is maintained by a non-profit neighborhood group. It is the only public area in the city where a dog may legally be off leash.

Part of the difficulty in Patterson Park has been the many different communities that surround it – among them Canton, Highlandtown, Patterson Park, Butchers Hill, and Upper Fells Point. While the group has now secured approval from all of them, the project is still opposed by the Friends of Patterson Park.

To learn more about the group, and their plan for a dog park, visit pattersondogpark.org.

Comments

Comment from ItsaNoBrainer
Time April 24, 2009 at 9:47 am

The last paragraph is incorrect. All Community Associations surrounding the park have sent letters of support for a dog park to the city and Friends of Patterson Park (FOPP). The resistance has been FOPP:
“we want to be on the record that we do not believe a fenced dog park should be pursued as a permanent structure in Patterson Park.”

http://www.pattersonpark.com/Friends/dog_park_position-2008.html

Everyone of their concerns has either been addressed in our application to the city or can be addressed by getting the city and the community together to iron out the differences.

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