Over the past 4 months, you’ve provided your email address at meetings, on petitions, via Facebook, Survey Monkey, or EveryBlock. You share one thing in common: you would like to see a dog park in McKinley Park! We’ve heard from so many people in McKinley Park, Bridgeport, Brighton Park, and the surrounding communities who really need and want a dog park to be able to play freely and legally, off-leash with their family dogs. We see this not only as a great outlet for dogs to exercise and become more socialized but for our neighbors to have an area to become closer to one another. Now that we have a substantial number of supporters, these monthly-emails will serve as an opportunity to update people who aren’t on the committee about where we are in our application process and what people can do to help.
The Application Process
In order to get approval from the Chicago Parks District for a new Dog-Friendly Area, we are required to submit an application for a specific location. In October 2014, we submitted our first application. It was denied mainly because it was too far away from an existing water source. However, the Chicago Park District said it would consider another area of McKinley Park if we resubmit.
We are proposing a second location which we are selecting with the assistance of park staff and the McKinley Park Advisory Council.
Our hope is to submit this second application with supporting materials in early February 2015. It will take the Park District at least 4 weeks to review the application and make a decision.
How Can You Help?
The entire process for a dog-friendly area with the Chicago Park District can take at least 2 years, sometimes longer. Patience, persistence, and optimism are key. By simply “liking” a photo on Facebook, or talking about the possibility of a dog park with your neighbors, you are making a difference! Here are some other ways you can help during the application process:
- Share Your Name & Address
If you fill out this form, including your address, we can add you to our list of supporters to submit to the district with our next application. (If you think you have already done this, don’t worry—we will find any duplicates.)
- Spread The Word
Like us on Facebook and send us your photos of your dogs with their names, ages, and why they want a dog park at McKinley Park. Send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complete Our Survey
If you haven’t yet, complete our online survey about what you would like to see in a dog-friendly area in McKinley Park.
- Talk To Your Friends and Neighbors!
We all love technology, but nothing is more powerful than good, old-fashioned word of mouth!
- Be a responsible pet owner!!
The number one most important thing you can do to help get a dog park in our community is to be responsible for your dog! That means always cleaning up after your dog, no unlawful off-leash running and keeping your dog’s vaccines and licenses up to date. We all know that our dogs are just as well-behaved and deserving of a dog park as dogs in any other part of the City, so let’s lead by example!