Dog Park Survey Says…!

Off-leash play for local pups? Get your comments in before the first planning meeting January 24th! 

Happy 2019! It’s been two years since the community’s had a Dog Park discussion — now plans are moving ahead with NewCourtland’s generous offer to include a dog park for the neighborhood into their senior-living complex coming together at the former EPPI site on Henry Avenue (near Roberts Ave). Community organizations from East Falls, RAH and Abbotsford Homes have been asked to send two representatives to a meeting with NewCourtland’s design team later this month (tentatively set for January 24th).

NewCourtland will be designing the park and assuming all construction costs; they also hope to enlist community support for the care/maintenance of the dog park once it is complete. At this stage in the process, they’re seeking feedback regarding:

  • Design
  • Needs
  • Access
  • Responsibilities
  • Hours
  • Any other information that may need to be discussed

Questions? Concerns? Suggestions? TAKE THE SURVEY! East Falls Forward’s reps will be sharing results with NewCourtland’s designers to help create the best possible dog park for everyone.

For more information, come out to EFF’s January meeting (Thurs Jan 17th 6:30 – 8:30) where we can all put our heads together over the current plans and discuss how best to move forward.

Thanks, everyone, for your input and ideas! A lot of time has passed since we’ve talked about a dog park here — if your answers to the survey have changed over the years, please feel free to take it again (we can update your responses accordingly).

Looking forward to keeping everyone in the loop as this exciting development continues. We’ll be sure to spread the word when the first public meetings are scheduled.

Original post Januray 3, 2017

On behalf of East Falls Forward, we sent out an informal neighbor survey last month exploring what kind of dog park would serve our community best.

With more than a hundred responses so far, preferences and attitudes are already coming to light. We’ve graphed the current data and added comments but meanwhile the survey is still open & accepting input.

EFF’s compiling our answers for EFCC and New Courtland — and also neighboring Ridge-Allegheny-Hunting Park’s community leaders, who share jurisdiction of Scotts Lane & the Mills with East Falls.  Indeed, we hear the proposed dog park land is technically within RAH’s boundaries, so… let’s not take for granted that everyone’s on board.

Fortunately, about 18% of our survey-takers so far are from communities around East Falls — news seems to be getting around to local dog owners across borders.

But even if you don’t have a dog, your opinion counts. If a dog park at New Courtland might affect you, we urge you to voice your opinions now before plans are underway.  START SURVEY HERE

The last time East Falls almost had a dog park, tensions exploded when near neighbors felt blindsided. From our vantage point, “We never heard about it!” seems to stop all kinds of progress around here. If we want this dog park to happen, we need to educate the community & get everyone on board as much as possible.

Click thru the images to view results of some of the more significant questions of our survey. We’ll go through all of the responses at EFF’s January meeting (and happy hour!), and we’ll update this post  with new data & comments as more responses come in.

[envira-gallery slug=”dog-park-survey-results”]

Fallsers chime in:

“Wish List” Comments
(Replies to the question “What features of other dog parks would you like to see in East Falls Dog Park?”)

Make sure that the fence is at least 6 feet high! Several of the local parks have shorter fences that lots of dogs can jump if they feel like it.” – C.J. T

SCHUYLKILL River Dog Park is a great model. Tasteful fencing and seating area for patrons but budget mostly spent on turf that will be easy to maintain and reduce wear and odor. Indoor/outdoor pavilion would be great for rain.  Minimalistic design it’s not hard to maintain but functionally beautiful.  Water source should be present.  This is so long overdue, Fallsers would be fine with a fenced in area with additional improvements as funds are raised.” – Denise H.

Double gated entry especially since it’s close to train tracks.” – Cathy K.

Donated balls or frisbees, safe containment for doggie poo, water play feature in summer (i.e., donated baby pool), emergency kit available.” – Samantha I.

Tall fences, I have a leaping escape artist.” – Justin E.

An electronic rabbit that rides along the top of the perimeter fence.” – Joe B.

Shade where people can stand.” – Juli S.

Love to see partnerships with the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, Philadelphia Water Department (storm water management program), East Falls Tree Tenders.” – Nina C.

General comments
I think the Dog Park committee should reconvene based on these new findings. It’s not fair that the Community Council excluded the community on decision making.” – Denise H.

I don’t see myself being a frequent user of this park due to the distance from the center of the neighborhood.” – Gary C.

Currently use Roxborough Dog Park & likely would continue however I fully support more dog parks in city neighborhoods.” – Stetson R.

In the winter, not having it open in the evening might be considered unless there is adequate lighting, as it gets dark early. And when it gets really cold, visits would be limited I would think. If having dues is the way to go, to help with maintenance, then a membership to join where you show that you have your vaccinations in order is a good idea. Thanks for writing up the survey to get some input.” – Christina K.

There should be some regulation involved. Membership mandatory, members can get in w a key and have to provide documentation of shots, vet visits etc. w membership money can go to park maintenance, upkeep. I know a dog that got very sick from a park, possibly from the water fountain there? So maybe no dog dishes available?” – Kait R.

Hey- happy to assist with planning if needed. I’ve consulted with other dog parks as they have gone from idea to reality. Important = landscaping, I’m not talking “pretty” as much as durable and options for spots for dogs to escape to or hide under or crowd near (think large, hearty, decorative grasses, etc). Large open barren spaces = totally can create overly aroused behavior. Happy to discuss.   Also I may have some agility equipment that could be donated for use at the park.” – Leigh Siegfried, Opportunity Barks (dog training)

Hi, we currently take out dog to the reservoir. There’s no fences, no water, no lights, and you know what? That’s fine. It largely meets our needs. If we could do that, & maybe with a fence, that would be great.” – Emily S.

I work in the construction field and would be willing to volunteer to help build the park!” – Josh P.

View my report!


    • Great question! Volunteers? A paid service through dues? Another reason to get everybody in to figure out what’s best! One thing’s for sure, getting the land is the easy part.

  1. I know this might be a dumb question.. but is there a reason we can’t convert the tennis court at McDevitt field into a dog park? The fence is already in place. It would just be a matter of getting a second small corral area for leashing and unleashing your dog and maybe adding a few benches and turf. I think artifical turf is best, though it’s expensive upfront. Grass would work just fine too.. Who controls that area? Could we bring that plan forward?

    • Yeah that’s a great plan alright! Many people here already kinda use McDevitt informally as a dog park but as for making it official… yeah. Hmmm. Maybe you can make some progress on this? A friend of ours in the old dog park committee approached Tom McNicholas (the center’s director) about this like 2 years ago. He was not thrilled, to say the least. Apparently when a dog owner asks “Can we add a dog park to McDevitt?” the workers there hear “Can you pick up my dog’s poop all day?” or something like that. But that was awhile ago. Perhaps a more organized working group could make more progress. Let us know how it goes!

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