Category Archives: Loring Dog Park

Information about the proposed dog park in Loring Park.



5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. Committee meetings to follow. The meetings will be held in the boardroom at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road, just north of Broadway Pizza.

5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME. Speakers need to sign up before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting.

This meeting is the last meeting that David Fisher will be attending as Superintendent. His four month stint as interim superintendent ends on October 31. We are grateful that he accepted the invitation to come to Minneapolis to fill this position.

This meeting is a meeting with many significant agenda items. The most important item on the agenda is the vote to approve the employment agreement with Jayne Miller, who–at the last meeting–was selected by a unanimous vote to be the new MPRB Superintendent.

Some highlights of the meetings that will be voted on :

The I-35 Bridge Memorial.
The concession agreement with Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet.
The reconvening of the CAC for the Wirth Beach Project III.
The non-appointed CACs for two playgrounds at Lake Harriet.

There will be a presentation of the Superintendent’s 2011 Recommended Budget. This is a report item and will not be voted on at this time.

The following is the link to the complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting of Wednesday, October 20:

MPRB meetings are broadcast live from 5-9 p.m. on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast cable and online at

The regular meetings are rebroadcast on Channel 79 at 1 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Webcasts for the recent two months are posted two to five business days after the meeting and are available for viewing under “Webcast Archives” at

The Park Board’s website is

Arlene Fried, Co-founder of Park Watch

Star Tribune: Work begins on Loring Park play area for dogs

In a May 17 story by reporter Tim Harlow, he wrote:

Downtown Minneapolis is going to the dogs, at least 10,000 square feet of Loring Park is.

Work on the new Loring Park Dog Grounds begins tonight with a groundbreaking ceremony at 6 p.m. in the north corner of the park. When it is completed in mid-June, the off-leash area will be the first enclosed off-leash play space for dogs in downtown Minneapolis with two more on the way.

Dog Grounds, the nonprofit formed last year to get the recreational areas built, says the spaces will be similar to “dog runs” in New York City. The organization plans to create play areas in the Elliot Park and North Loop neighborhoods this year.

Read the entire story at the Star Tribune website.

Loring Theme Park?

On Wednesday, January 17, the Minneapolis Park Board will meet to, among other things, finalize plans for an off-leash dog enclosure in Loring Park.

Such an enclosure will introduce noise, dust and unpleasant odors to one of the park’s last remaining quiet spaces.

Ward 7 Council Member, Lisa Goodman, said many Loring neighborhood sites were considered but that area residents indicated, “they want [the dog enclosure] as part of the park itself, not across the street from residents.”

I wonder why the residents that she contacted said they don’t want the enclosure across from their homes. Could it be for some of the same reasons that many of us oppose an enclosure in the park?

Minneapolis Park Board President, Jon Olson, correctly pointed out at the December 6 park board meeting, that Loring Park is not just a neighborhood park, but also a regional park. As such, the board needs to look beyond the wishes of some residents.

One dog enclosure supporter – journalist, Jon Tevlin – wrote the following on the Minneapolis Star Tribune blog,

“Most people put their dogs in cars and drive around Lake of the Isles to the nearest dog park. A dog park would bring a lot more people to Loring more regularly, making the park safer.”

Assuming that downtown dog owners already use the park, what we’re looking at is more drive-in traffic. I don’t find the prospect of increased traffic at all reassuring. The north side of Loring Park is bursting at the seams with cars looking for places to park. During the day, MCTC students occupy every available parking space along Harmon Place. Then, at about the time they’re leaving, restaurant and bar patrons start filling them in. I’ve been over there for 15 years and I can tell you that there is no time – save holidays and pre dawn – when parking is not a problem. And the problem has gotten worse, not better, over the years.

On their web site, “Dog Grounds” – the non-profit organization responsible for creating and maintaining the enclosure — describes a “vehicle access gate ten-feet wide for maintenance trucks and lawn mowing machines to enter.” So, if they do a decent job of maintenance, we can expect regular maintenance-truck and lawn-mowing machine traffic to go along with the noise, dust, unpleasant odors and cars looking for a place to park.

Dog Grounds proposes to leave the grass in place in certain parts of the enclosure.

“By leaving the grass,” they say, “we preserve the maximum green space possible.” But “If the grass eventually fails, [which of course it will] the best alternative would be to replace it with artificial turf.”

The introduction of artificial turf will take Loring Park one step further from green space, and one step closer to theme park.

Since the board did, in fact, amended the Loring Park Master Plan to add an off-leash dog enclosure as appropriate land use, there’s no hope of keeping it out of the park entirely. But there is still hope that a better location within the park — one that is less disruptive to the environment, park visitors and Loring Corners business owners – can be identified.

The board will discuss and finalize plans for the dog enclosure at 5:30 on Wednesday, January 17, at MPRB Administrative Offices, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis.

In Downtown Journal’s ‘First Annual Readers Raves and Picks’ (January 8), readers of the paper named Loring Park their favorite green space. I hope we can keep it that way.

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.