Friday, November 14, 2008 - 8:11am

In a true show of collaboration, five alders, various neighborhood associations, residents and the City of Madison Parks Division are working together to bring "pocket" dog parks to the Eastside.

A few months ago, at an Olbrich Park Master Planning meeting, dozens of Eastside residents expressed their interest in having one or more off-leash dog parks within walking distance. It soon became apparent that other Eastsiders shared this desire for their neighborhoods, so with the support of District 6 Alder Marsha Rummel, the Eastside Dog Park Coalition was formed. This grassroots group of like-minded dog owners has worked closely with area neighborhood associations and the Parks Division to advocate for a legal way to exercise and socialize their dogs off-leash. No new dog parks have been created since 1993.

Alder Rummel is joined by fellow Eastside alders Brenda Konkel (District 2), Satya Rhodes-Conway (District 12), Larry Palm (District 15) and Joe Clausius (District 17) in hosting a meeting with Parks Division staff who will identify possible sites in all five districts and take comments and suggestions from the public. Neighbors who want to initiate a dog park must complete a survey of residents and submit it to the Board of Park Commissioners for approval. An annual $23 dog park permit helps pay for fencing and maintenance.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 17, at 6:30 p.m. in Evjue Commons, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, 3330 Atwood Avenue.

  • Marsha Rummel, District 6 Alder, 608-772-4555