Residents petition for dog park area in Sauganash
by BRIAN NADIG
About 360 people signed an online petition calling for the creation of a dog park in the 39th Ward, which lacks a Chicago Park District-designated “dog friendly area.”
“Adding a dog park to the area would be a great way to meet the neighbors and build strong bonds of community,” Sauganash resident Greg Berry wrote on the petition that he has posted to www.change.org (search “39th Ward”).
Berry said he has identified a possible location for a dog park that would be to the east of the Valley Line bike trail and north of the 4300 block of Bryn Mawr Avenue. He added that space measures about 60-by-80 feet and that residents often refer to this “little slice of land” as a “mud pit” due to its condition after it rains.
It is not clear who owns the parcel but hopefully it could be donated to the park district, Berry said. Users of the dog park could either walk there or park on Bryn Mawr, he said.
Funding for a dog park could come from the ward’s 2022 participatory budget, which involves a community vote on how to spend one third of the ward’s $1.5 million allocation of discretionary funds, Berry said.
Previous winning projects include murals, new green space at schools and streetscape improvements. The ward office is accepting participatory budget recommendations through Thursday, Nov. 18, at www.aldermannugent.com.
“The entire neighborhood and other areas in close vicinity would benefit from having a dog park in Sauganash. We are seeing a large number of new puppies in the area who need a place to exercise and socialize with other canine friends. There are multiple options for the location,” a resident posted on the ward’s budget recommendation page.
Some residents have used the tennis courts at Sauganash Park, 5861 N. Kostner Ave., as a dog run, but the park district recently posted signs stating that dogs are not allowed on the courts. There reportedly have been problems with some owners not picking up excrement after their dogs.
The park district requires that supporters of a dog park demonstrate community need and support and that they raise a portion of the dog run’s cost. The park district also requires that a local community organization be in place to help maintain the dog park.