South Side dog owners will now have three new parks to take their pooches for fresh air and socializing. On Thursday, City Council approved plans for three quarter-acre parks after community members pointed out there were no city-run dog parks on the South Side.
Marc Loveless, a dog owner and founding member of Bronzeville Area Association for Canines (BARC), stepped up to the podium to thank Alderman Dowell, Alderman King, the Council, and the Mayor.
“I know some people think it’s trite, and simple and it’s just dog parks. But it’s more than just dog parks. We now have people looking to bring businesses in our areas for the dog parks that will be for pet owners and industry things,” Loveless said.
The city will build the two new dog parks in Grand Boulevard at 3838-40 S. Indiana and 4149-53 S. Vincennes avenues. The third will be in Oakland at 3906 S. Lake Park Avenue. Each park will be fenced in and have turf, landscaping, lighting, benches, water fountains, and other amenities.
Some residents are really looking forward to the project because there aren’t any dog parks managed by the Park District south of 18th Street, according to BARC. The only park regularly used by pet owners on the South Side is Jackson Bark, which is maintained by the Woodlawn community.
Looking at a map of dog-friendly areas on the Park District’s website, the South Loop’s Fred Anderson Dog-Friendly Area is is as far south the city’s dog parks go.
“Dedicated park spaces like these are a great way for dogs and their owners to interact together,” said Alderman Pat Dowell in a statement. “They’ll be a welcome addition to the community.”
The project will be funded through $1.8 million in TIF and $92,000 in Open Space Impact Fees. The OSIF program collects fees associated with the construction of new residential projects which it then applies to the open space needs of surrounding neighborhoods.