While our dream park and the reality we are able to achieve may differ, we are striving to attain all our desired amenities. The following is a list of the amenities we have asked for in our new park, with confirmation regarding which items the city has approved in the Parks design (see rendering above):
1. A safe fence with a double gate to ease anxiety and create a smooth transition into the park for all dogs – APPROVED
The park design includes a double gated entry, with a single vestibule to access two separate runs. The fence will be 6 feet tall, which is tall enough to keep even large dogs who are proficient jumpers within the park.
2. A fresh water source for drinking water, fountains/sprinklers for the dogs to play in (or alternately, a pool), along with a hose – APPROVED
The park design includes a water dispenser that will allow for water to fill up either a dog bowl or a water bottle, as well as fire hydrant sprinkler fountains for dogs to play in. Onsite drainage will also be improved to mitigate the issue of standing water, in part through installing a graded surface. We will have to provide a hose, but a spigot will be built in so our volunteers can spray off the park’s surface.
3. Multiple waste bins and a place to store bags to clean up after our dogs – APPROVED
The park design includes a storage locker for maintenance supplies, trash cans, and a plastic bag dispenser. There will also be additional gates to allow for maintenance crews to come and go from the street.
4. Benches for dog parents – APPROVED
The park will have multiple benches throughout.
5. More space, with separate play areas for large and for small dogs – APPROVED
The park will be approximately 75% large dog, 25% small dog (standard park size).
6. Landscaping that is engaging, safe, and fun for all dogs while maintaining sight lines for parents – APPROVED
The park’s design is built around the structural beams for the bridge and none of the climbing rocks that are dispersed throughout will be high enough to be a barrier.
Additionally, we want to achieve our dream of a new dog run without sacrificing the resources we already have; specifically, off leash hours (and as a secondary concern, Bugsy’s). – APPROVED
The park is located far enough from Astoria Park as to not interfere with off leash hours. As Bugsy’s is not Parks property, Parks does not have a say in whether it is taken down. The property seems to be DEP property, and the DEP has said the only reason it would spend the time, money and man power to remove the park is if the drainage pipe beneath becomes an issue. As such, we do not have reason to believe the park will be taken down by the city as a result of building this run, or for that matter, unless it is an emergency situation.
For more information, please see the official joint press release from the office of Councilman Costa Constantinides.
We have also been asked by Participatory Budget Delegates (2014-2015 Cohort) to include better lighting as a component of our proposal, and was added to the list of desired amenities as a result. A copy of this proposal can be viewed here. More on our Participatory Budgeting campaign can be found here. The city is working to make better lighting a reality (we discussed the issue during our summer 2016 session to review the parks plans prior to release), and we will update you when we receive more information.
In addition to the $500,000 in funds we have received from winning the vote from Participatory Budgeting, our Borough President and State Senator have allocated an additional $500,000. With these funds, we are assured a state of the art park, likely to meet many if not all of our criteria. Water access has been guaranteed, and off leash hours will not be affected. We have also learned that the money will also go towards revamping the adjacent basketball court (one of the two will remain for those who presently use the courts to continue playing ball), as well as fixing the sidewalk outside of the park.
We are presently awaiting the completion of the bids process, and will update you when we receive more information. The city is currently projecting completion of the park in 2018. You can track the City’s progress towards completing the run using the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation’s Capital Project Tracker.