Dickinson Square ‘not the best viable option for a dog run’ according to Parks and Rec

The dog run under I-95 may be taking steps in the right direction, but the other proposed Pennsport dog space may have reached the end of its course.

Dickinson Square Park

We’ve been following the plans for this dog-specific space for Dickinson Square from the survey that was initially released, to a public meeting that brought out the vocal non-supporters in May. Park and Recreation has now decided that Dickinson Square Park is “not the best viable option for a dog run.”

The letter posted by the Dickinson Square dog run group on Facebook:


Although Parks and Recreation, along with Councilman Squilla, have decided that this dog run is not a good fit for the park, they are still “committed to support an effort to explore the potential of a dog run in this area.” At the meeting in May, other members of the community agreed that while Dickinson Square may not be the perfect place for a dog-specific space, they would still like to see something like this in the neighborhood.

6 thoughts on “Dickinson Square ‘not the best viable option for a dog run’ according to Parks and Rec

  • June 23, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    The “other members of the community” of course would be happy for a dog park as long as not in their “front yard”. Magnanimous of them.

  • June 23, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    June 23, 2016

    Dear Councilman Squilla and Commissioner Ott-Lovell:

    We, the Directors of the Dickinson Square West Civic Association, have received, considered, and discussed your June 16 letter, regarding the proposal for a dog run in Dickinson Square Park.

    While we remain firmly neutral on the concept of a dog run within Dickinson Square Park, we believe this topic has shed light on a serious issue with the City of Philadelphia’s due process (or lack thereof) for the creation of dog runs on city property. Members of the Parks Department and City Government have publicly admitted that there is no official policy or procedure relating to the creation of dog runs in our city. Since there is clearly a large number of people interested in creating such an amenity in our neighborhood (and perhaps elsewhere), we feel that they should have the opportunity to apply for one through a fair and transparent due process with the City of Philadelphia. Based on the way the Dickinson Square Park proposal was handled by the City, we see that such a process does NOT currently exist. Therefore, we strongly encourage the Parks Department and City Government to create a public list of guidelines and requirements that must be met for the creation of dog runs as well as a formal, transparent process by which Philadelphians can apply for such an amenity in their neighborhoods. Furthermore, we feel that such a process should enable all neighbors, including those opposed to dog runs, to voice their opinions and concerns in a formal, organized setting.

    To further clarify our position…

    Our primary goal for the public meeting we held in May was to enlighten our neighbors about the PROCESS for creating a dog run somewhere in our neighborhood, not necessarily in Dickinson Square Park. Unfortunately, the meeting seemed to present more questions than answers, despite the fact that the following list of queries was emailed to officials from the Parks Department, City Council and the Commissioner’s office before the meeting, a printed copy was handed to the Parks officials at the meeting, and the list was again emailed to the parties above after the meeting. To date, we have not received clear answers to any of these questions:

    1. What City elected officials, departments, agencies, etc. approved the dog runs now on City properties? City Council? Parks?
    2. Today, what City elected officials, departments, agencies, etc. are charged with approving dog runs on City property? Code reference?
    3. What is the role of the Executive Committee of Parks vis a vis the Commission and the Commissioner?
    4. Are there design standards required for the construction of a dog run? What is the role, if any, of L&I in that regard?
    5. How specific should a proposal be, in order to receive consideration? Site plans, etc.?
    6. What is the prescribed procedure for obtaining approval? Code reference?
    7. When and before what body will public hearings be held?
    8. When approval for a dog run is granted:
    a. To what entity will pledged construction monies be paid?
    b. Should a “friends”, non-profit, or similar group be created to manage ongoing monies?

    We look forward to further dialogue with you on this matter and to facilitate a process of engaging with those in our neighborhood who are strongly interested in this topic.

    Very truly yours,

    Directors, Dickinson Square West Civic Association
    Kathryn Bednarchik
    Jeff Boettcher
    Christopher Brick
    George Kull
    Josephine Rivera
    Karen Rose
    Ted Savage
    Heather Shultz
    Steve Silvasy

    Copy to: Commissioner Perri
    Jordan Roth
    Friends of Dickinson Square
    Pennsport Civic Association

  • June 24, 2016 at 9:17 am

    By what criteria was it “determined that Dickinson Square is not the best viable option for a dog run”? The letter does not even attempt a rational — it would be nice to know what that “careful consideration” actually entailed. Based on the letter, I’m guessing not much.

    • June 24, 2016 at 10:50 am

      I thing this the general jist; public parks are for people, turning them into piss-soaked-sponges is not a beneficial use.

  • June 24, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Dickinson Park and Rittenhouse Sq. are “piss soaked” anyway as many dogs live near and are walked at these locations. Those who let dogs off leash tho illegal might have a legal place to do so.

  • June 24, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Viable means feasible, practical, useable, workable, possible etc. and the unanswered question. Why not?

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