Raleigh’s canine residents are one step closer to having two more places in which they can run free and romp with other dogs.
The Greenway and Urban Trees Committee this week finalized recommendations for a dog park at Buffaloe Road Athletic Park and a dog run at Jaycee Park. The plans will head to the full Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board for a vote during its May meeting.
Should City Councilors also approve the plans, construction of both locations will start immediately for openings in late fall of this year.
The Buffaloe Road dog park will be a bit less than two acres and include both large and small dog areas. The entrance to the dog parks will be on the east side of the fenced area to keep separated dog park attendees and those heading to the aquatic center. Some existing parking located near the proposed walkway will be designated for dogs and their owners.
Construction costs for the park come in at about $94,600, plus about $12,900 in additional project costs (benches, waste stations, grading).
At about a quarter of an acre, the dog run at Jaycee Park will be much smaller in size and won’t include separated areas for large dogs and small dogs. The dog run will be located in the same area as the current comfort station and picnic area, which have been slated for demolition as part of a separate project.
A new comfort station, picnic area and playground are also scheduled to be built at the park.
Construction costs for the run are expected to be about $20,800, plus about $3,600 in additional project costs.
A handful of meeting attendees praised the inclusion of the parks; dog owner Andrea Roush said the issue hits close to home. While she and her husband live closer to the dog park in Oakwood, she is looking forward to having to other locations to which she can bring her canine companions.
Oakwood, a popular dog park, she said is often jammed packed no matter the season.
Kids football and baseball coach Jay Walden said he’s coming at the issue from a different perspective. He told the committee that the additional facilities are a terrific idea, but said he hated to see the ball fields at Buffaloe Road locked up just to keep dogs out.
He asked that additional signage or other means be used encourage dog owners to pick up after their pets until the new dog parks are built.
“The kids are rolling around right in it,” he said, adding that he wondered if anything could be done right now.
The additional facilities are nearly two years in the making, with Councilors first asking the advisory board to look at additional dog park locations after Councilors banned dogs from public playgrounds in 2014. Interestingly enough, a few hours before the committee meeting, Mayor Nancy McFarlane asked staff to look into the possibility of installing a dog run at Fletcher Park.
During the heated debate that lead to the decision, dog owners complained that the city had too few locations where they could let their dogs run off-leash. Parents and other residents, on the other hand, complained of dog feces being left in the same location as children are playing.