Dog Park Planned Near Hollywood

A few months ago, visitors to Andersonville's Pine Cleaners might have noticed a few sheets of paper lying innocuously atop the counter, a pen attached to them by a length of string. Closer inspection would reveal that they were, in fact, a petition to have a new dog park established near the corner of Sheridan and Hollywood.

That petition has since borne fruit: according to the Carmen-Winona Block Club, plans for what is currently being called "Hollywoof Park" were discussed last week at the 48th Ward's monthly Zoning and Planning Committee Meeting.

The Hollywoof Action Committee, the principal proponent of the park, claims to have gathered "nearly 3,000 signatures on petitions" in support of the proposed park--certainly, more than enough to garner the attention of an alderman.

Dog parks, presently a rarity in the city, are areas specially designated for dog-owners to bring their pets for play without requiring a leash. According to Alderman Mary Ann Smith's web site, the 48th Ward has the lowest amount of green space per capita in the city, which has helped fuel demand for the park.

Tom Samuels, a ward official responsible for the design, planning and maintenance of parks in the ward, has been placed in charge of the project. His office has recommended that the park be placed on the west side of Lake Shore Drive.

Not everyone is thrilled with that idea, however. Lavonne Sharp, President of the Board at the Statesman Building, has "expressed concern" that it will draw too many people with their dogs, cause too much noise, and result in unpleasant smells for local residents, according to the Hollywoof Action Committee. Sharpe recommended placing the park east of Lake Shore Drive.

Alderman Smith's web site states that "Puptown," at Marine Drive and Lawrence, is the only dog park currently in existence in the area.

Discuss

KEITH RASMUSSEN, 04-07-2009

I am not from your town, however mispreception are the same no matter where you go.

In regards to Ms. Sharp comments she may be off the base big time. Dog parks do NOT bring more noise as she suspects, and generally most people who use dog parks are responsible dog owners who clean up after the dog, thus her comment about more smells is unjustifiable as well.

Dogs have been humans best friend for thousands of years. They have already saved taxpayers dollars in many ways by serving as seeing eye dogs, service dogs, search N rescue dogs, helping the military and police forces, and now we as human are discovering that dogs can sense cancer and other alignments in humans far before the medical community can. All of this helps reduce the tax burden on taxpayers.

It can also be shown that Dog Parks help reduce agression with dogs, and it helps build community bonding.

This is a wonderful way of expressing your respect for these marvelous animals.