In early October, the fenced in area on the Bruce Monroe Site near the community garden was locked and closed to dog owners who’d been using the area as a dog run. Since that event, ANC Commissioner Rashida Brown has been working with the Department of Parks and Recreation and Ward 1 Councilmember Nadeau to learn more about the decision to close the area.
Over the weekend, Commissioner Brown released information to provide some background on why the area was closed.
What follows is Commissioner Brown’s statement:
I’m providing clarity on some concerns from the community that came to the attention of Council Member Nadeau and I regarding the dog run at the Bruce Monroe park. City officials confirmed that the fenced in area on the southwest end of the park is a bio-retention site that is used as a storm water run off for the community garden and must be not be used as a dog run. I’m sharing a handout that the Department of Parks and Recreation developed providing more background about the site.
It indicates that “foot traffic (by both humans and dogs) degrades the function of bio-retention areas by compacting the layers of soil that serves to absorb storm water, eventually leading to erosion issues and reduced function of the bio-retention area.” Furthermore, dog waste transferring over to the garden area creates transmittable diseases and is hazardous to both humans and pets.
Health and safety are paramount and must come first. Therefore, the padlock and “no dogs allowed” sign on the gate around the bio-retention site must not be removed. Trespassing laws also apply to this area. The attached handout also provides details and codes on dog park rules and regulations.
Council Member Nadeau’s staff and I are working with the dog owner network to help identify a feasible space and connect them with resources to start an official dog park in the neighborhood. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or Elizabeth Horn, Council Member Nadeau’s Constituent Services Specialist, if you have any questions.