Good Idea * Bad Plan

A Loring Park area off-leash dog park is a fine idea — many Loring neighborhood dog owners would benefit from such a park.

But rushing a dog-park plan to the implementation stage without proper neighborhood notification is a bad idea. Out-of-the-loop residents and business owners will wake up one morning to discover that their public land has been given over to personal enterprise and wonder why they weren’t brought into the discussion.

Rushing a dog-park plan to the implementation stage without fully considering its impact on the environment, is also a bad idea. Such an enclosure will cause significant degradation to area wildlife and vegetation — the very features that make this city park so special. Also, the chosen site is the only remaining quiet space in Loring Park and a favorite place for park visitors to sit, meditate and just get away from the noise of the city. A dog enclosure will introduce noise, dust, bustle and unpleasant odors to the area. Some will regard this as an amenity; others will regard this as a blight.

Yet, Ward 7 Council Member, Lisa Goodman seems to be pushing her ‘pet’ project through under the radar. Of the required 3,000 resident notifications, she authorized that only 500 be distributed to area residents.

As concerned Loring Park area residents and business owners, we’re not saying, ‘Don’t construct a dog park.” What we are saying is, ‘Slow down.’

We want council member Goodman and the Minneapolis Park Board to consider plots of land that are just as accessible but less disruptive to the environment and the people who enjoy the quiet beauty of Loring Park.