Photo Credit: Erin Kirby
While Astoria Dog Owners Association is primarily focused on improving quality of life for Astoria’s dogs and dog owners, we are Astorians, and care deeply for our community as a whole. We understand that we may not always see eye to eye with everyone in our community (nor can we ever expect to), but we are mindful of how our actions and projects affect those beyond local dog owners. This section of our website outlines how and why our project(s) are good for those who don’t have dogs.
Participatory Budgeting, and the $1M Allocation to the Dog Run:
A million dollars sounds like a lot of money, and it is. Many people have asked us “Why will it cost so much?”. There are several reasons for this. One is that it is a public project, and public projects (especially in New York City) can cost significantly more than private projects. Indeed, 1-million dollars is quite comparable to other parks projects. $1.5M was allocated towards a dog run in East Elmhurst. $750,000 has been allocated for new water fountains and gaming tables in Astoria Park by the Councilman. There plenty of additional examples as well.
Aside from the simple fact that everything costs more in our city, there is also the issue of the amount of work that needs to be done in the are. The entire park was in rough shape when construction began; everything from the fence to the benches to the concrete had to be replaced. The money also ensured water access to the park space, which currently was not connected to any city water source. This was an expensive and time consuming task.
The money went towards improving the sidewalk in the area. Those familiar with the area know that the sidewalks along Hoyt Avenue had been in rough shape for some time, and some segments still are. The park presently is also collecting large puddles when it rains. Furthermore, one of the two basketball courts was renovated, a much needed improvement to a once dilapidated space. Thus, the million dollars does not just benefit dogs and dog owners. It also directly impacts residents, individuals trying to access Astoria Park and the surrounding neighborhood, and those who use the basketball courts.
How dog runs benefit non-dog owners:
Dogs need exercise. Given many Astorians are not fortunate enough to have a yard, Astoria’s dogs and dog owners must find other ways to exercise their dogs. When there is a dog run in the community, many dog owners prefer to bring their dogs there. It provides exercise for the dogs, and socialization time for dogs and people. Just like human parents socialize with other parents at the playground, dog parents socialize with other dog parents. But the fact that dog runs become a hub of activity for dog owners also has a trickle down effect for those without dogs.
More space for humans in local parks: A dog run in Astoria provides an additional option for somewhere to exercise and socialize Astoria dogs. We believe this will take some of the dogs out of Astoria Park during the day; especially those who are off-leash. This will leave more room for humans to enjoy the park!
Well exercised dogs make better neighbors: When dogs get enough exercise, they are calmer. A calmer dog is a quieter dog (less barking, less running around in the apartment above you), a more well behaved dog, and a dog more receptive to training (which also has long term benefits). When your furry neighbor has a place to get all that energy out, they are simply better neighbors!
Cleaner streets, a better maintained and safer park space, and a more beautiful Astoria: Triborough Park C was run down prior to the new run’s construction. The renovations took an eye sore and turned it in to a space Astorians can be proud of. New park space is a much needed change on a stretch of street that was neglected for some time. Additionally, Astoria Dog Owners Association and other community groups are committed to ensuring the park space is well maintained and clean. This will be a huge improvement to the previous state of the park, which was frequently littered with trash and broken glass. Finally, the dog park has extra bags to clean up after pups on their walks, and trash cans. This provides individuals who have forgotten, lost, or used all their bags, or people looking to throw away doggie waste, an extra pit stop; in turn, Astoria’s streets and parks may wind up cleaner!
Astoria Dog Owners Association is invested in our community. Our whole community.
While we are primarily focused on issues directly affecting dogs and dog owners, the Astoria Dog Owners Association is deeply invested in our community as a whole. We may be dog owners, but we are also human Astorians who live here, work here, and want the best for our community as a whole.
If you are a non-dog owner, and have questions and comments for us, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to speak with you more about how ADOA can support everyone in Astoria!