Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Prospect Park and land usage

Check out the following land usage statistics for Prospect Park. I will eventually post the same for all parks with designated off-leash privileges:

Prospect Park Total area: 526.25 acres

Open Spaces in Prospect Park
Rose Garden: ~1 acre
Nelly's Lawn: ~3 acres
Peninsula Meadow: ~ 3 acres
Nethermead Meadow: ~15 acres
Long Meadow: 90 acres
Total open space (field or meadow): 112 acres

Designated Off-leash Areas
Long Meadow: 90 acres
Nethermead Meadow: ~15 acres
Peninsula Meadow: ~ 3 acres
Total open space designated as off-leash: 108 acres

Total terra firma in Prospect Park (open spaces + wooded habitats)
Prospect Lake: 60 acres
Land mass minus Prospect Lake: 526.25 - 60 = 466.25
Total percentage of Prospect Park's terra firma designated as off-leash areas: 26.16%

Total open space (field or meadow): 112 acres
Total "official" off-leash areas: 108 acres
Total percentage of open spaces designated as off-leash areas: 96.4%

These numbers are pointless, however, because the policy is not enforced anywhere in the park.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What is wrong with the parks department?

I just read the following article and could only shake my head as it's another example of the department of parks really poor judgement. The article is followed by some comparison photos of the area where the kids were forced to have their picnic and the activities that normally occur in that spot.

Parks Dept Sends Kids to Contaminated Area of Juniper Valley Park to Picnic
5/17/2007 1:59:00 PM

by Robert F. Holden

This photo was taken at 12noon today at Juniper Valley Park.

Many schools have been having field days at the park.

At about 10am caution tape was wrapped around trees by the Parks Department in the area "designated" for unleashed dogs.

Bus loads of small children started to arrive and blankets were spread throughout the off-leash dog area.

Children started to roll around, play soccer and wrestle on the grass.

Virginia Adams, the supervisor of the children, was asked about the event. She said there were about 300 children from PS 89 in Elmhurst who were part of multilingual classes at the school.

She was asked who designated this space for their picnic. She replied that it was the NYC Parks Department. When told that this was a semi-fenced in dog walking area and therefore not a good place for children to be playing, rolling around in the grass or eating lunch, Mrs. Adams said that she was disgusted and would bring this up to Parks.

It was then that a Mexican band arrived to entertain the children.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Off-leash and Environmental Review

It appears that the City of Ithaca actually understands the implications of unleashed dogs in public.

In the article they write:

"Looking to delineate just what will be studied during an environmental review of three possible off-leash dog sites, a committee of 11 people representing seven organizations weighed in on 12 draft parameters."

Here is an appropriate administrative response to dog owners who demand that the city turn over valuable green space for their pets. In New York City, on the other hand, we blinked and the Department of Parks & Recreation shoved their policy down the throats of an uninformed general public.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Doggy Liberation Limited to Uptown Only


Back on the leash
By Carol Vinzant

A new rule allows dogs to go leashless between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. in parks unequipped with dog runs. Except downtown. Three owners recently got ticketed in a fetch-friendly part of the East River Park they’d been using for years; others reported nearly getting collared in Carl Schurz and Battery Parks. As it turns out, the new rule doesn’t apply below 59th Street. Dog activists are howling, but Parks commish Adrian Benepe calls the East River Park “a series of ball fields” that “was never supposed to be an off-leash area.” He says he might put a dog run in, though.

From New York Magazine 05/07/07: