Letter to the Editor: Defending Dog Park

Letter to the Editor: Defending Dog Park

To the Editor:

A correction to the April 18 Letter to Editor, "Protect the Park" from small special events.

The Dog Exercise Area in Founders Park is not the north half of Founders Park. The dog park is a quarter acre of the entire 5-acre river front park located in the northwest park corner near N. Union and Oronoco streets.

The author states special events will monopolize the park, keeping it from public use. This is untrue. The park will remain open to the public for activities — the designated area for special events is the southern lawn of the park. Worse, the author attacks the dog park as being oversized, uninviting to park users and unfriendly to young families to scare off any possibility of a special events proposal by the city's Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Affairs being approved.

Why is it that people tend to rationalize their viewpoint with incorrect information?

The Founders Park Community Association adopted the park years ago but it seems some of their members want to keep the park to themselves. They forget it is a public park for all to enjoy be it a dog romp, a volleyball game, a family picnic on the riverfront or possibly a small special event enforced by the capable RPCA special events staff.

The Founders Park Dog Exercise Area is one of 18 dog parks in the city, a recreation component recognized by City Council, maintained by the RPCA and the city-recognized Founders Dog Park.com, a 501 3(c), not-for-profit Virginia state organization via a City Volunteer Maintenance Agreement. The FDPC has raised and donated funds and materials valued over $30,000 to the city's Living Landscape Fund to maintain and improve Founders Dog Park with donated trees, selected benches, turf improvement contributions and a select ADA water fountain to be installed in the upcoming months. The group also sponsors a monthly litter and waste collection of the entire 5-acre park every third Saturday at 9 a.m. — all are welcome and bring your dog. The dog park users are good neighbors that use and care for the park 24/7/365.

Cathleen Curtin R.A, AIA

City of Alexandria Beautification Commission, Co-Chair

FoundersDogPark.Com, President