The Woodward News

December 4, 2008

How about a dog park?

A recent addition to my life made me realize that Woodward could use a new addition as well.

After adopting a puppy last month to celebrate my 24th birthday, I have quickly realized that there are limited places where I can take my new puppy to play and socialize in Woodward.

Sure I can take her along the walking trails, but she must be kept on a leash at all times, which greatly restricts how much she can enjoy the outdoors. In addition, it’s sometimes awkward when approaching others on the trails because you never know who’s a dog lover and who’s not.

Or I could take her to Crystal Beach Park, but I can’t even walk her all the way around the park because her puppy paws would fall through the holes in the mesh plating that makes up most of the sidewalk along the Lakeview Bridge.

It would be nice to be able to take her to a place, where I could let her enjoy a little freedom off the leash that’s outside of my apartment. A place where I could be assured that we were surrounded by fellow dog lovers. And a place where she could socialize, so that I can ensure she doesn’t develop a spoiled single-puppy attitude.

It would be nice if Woodward had a dog park.

Which is why I broached the subject to our city commissioners during their meeting Monday night and was a little surprised to hear that no formal request or effort has been made before to establish a dog park here.

However, the commissioners seemed somewhat open to the idea, especially Commissioner Roscoe Hill, who promised his support for the project.

City Manager Alan Riffel noted, though, that the issue will have to go before the Woodward Parks and Beautification Board for further consideration.

And that’s just the first of many steps, which also include locating a site for the potential dog park and finding funding to build it.

But I’m sure that before the Parks Board or the City Commission will ever seriously consider setting aside an acre or so of city property, they will want to know that there is community support for this project.

While I may be one of the first who brought the idea before the city, I’m confident that I’m not the only one who is interested in such a project.

So, I would like to appeal to my fellow dog owners and dog lovers to assist me in an effort to establish a dog park in Woodward.

If you are interested in creating a special spot in our community for our four-legged, furry friends, please contact me at Also if you wouldn’t mind sharing your thoughts publicly on the need for a dog park in Woodward, I would encourage you to attend the next Woodward Parks and Beautification meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 11 a.m.

I know that if we work together, we can ensure that even man’s best friend has a great place to play in Woodward.

Rowynn Ricks is a staff writer for the Woodward News. She can be reached at