A perfect location for a dog park on the North Side of Youngstown

A perfect location for a dog park on the North Side of Youngstown

Driving through the city of Youngstown, one is immediately struck by how the maintenance of our public parks has deteriorated over the years. Grass goes without being mowed for weeks, and once-beautiful play and picnic areas are scattered with debris of every description. This is particularly true of Crandall Park on the North Side.

On May 10, tired of the unsightliness and inaction by the city, a group of about 20 volunteers spent the better part of the day cleaning up the park. The tennis courts along Tod Lane have gone unused for almost a decade. There are no tennis nets, the latch on one of the gates is missing, and the enclosure is in an overall state of disrepair. It took our volunteers a couple of hours just to remove the leaves, dirt and other trash that littered the court.

We want to put the abandoned tennis court to a good public use. There’s a strong sentiment among residents who live around the park to turn the tennis court into a dog park. As it is, dog owners can walk their pets around the neighborhood but there’s nowhere for dogs to run, really exercise and socialize with other animals.

A dog park would provide an area set aside for dogs to exercise and play off-leash in a controlled environment under the supervision of their owners.

We need approval from the park department. To date, we have made requests to the parks department to convert the space to a dog park but have been met with less than cooperative responses. Those of us who would like a dog park have formulated rules for its operation and will seek private donations for benches, printed signs, a new latch, etc.

Owners have promised to clean up after their pets. We have asked the parks department only for its OK to move ahead with the project and to provide a trash can. We have a petition with over 50 signatures of residents around the park urging that this project get done.

Why has it been so difficult to get cooperation from the parks department regarding this simple idea?

Madelyn L. Halfacre, Youngstown