In light of the dog run chatter, the PUPS Prez just emailed this response: Dear PUPS members:
Every now and then PUPS get requests to work to install a dog run in Fort Greene Park. By way of history, keeping off-leash hours legal in the park was the original core mission for PUPS, not installing a dog run. We worked hard for the better part of ten years with many other dog groups in NYCDOG, NYC Parks Department, elected officials and others to get the 9:00 pm to 9:00 am off-leash courtesy rule codified into law, which went into effect citywide in May 2007.
What many people don't seem to know is that the Parks Department generally follows an either/or policy when it comes to off-leash hours and dog runs. A park might have off-leash hours or a dog run, but not both. An exception to this policy is Riverside Park, which happens to be very large.
Funds for installation of the permanent fencing for dog runs must be raised by volunteers. And all city dog runs are maintained by volunteers as well. Fort Greene Park is a landmarked park, so any dog run would need to be approved by the Landmarks Commission. It's unlikely that a dog run large enough to safely and comfortably accommodate the area's sizeable dog population would be approved given the overall size of Fort Greene Park and the many people who use its space for other purposes such as relaxing, picnicking, exercising, etc.
An idea we thought about years ago was to suggest a dog run be installed at Cuyler Gore Park (the small park at Greene and Cumberland). There is at least one part of this small park that seems ideal for a dog run, but a group of volunteers would need to be organized to work with the Parks Department, our Community Board, city officials and local community groups, raise the money, and maintain the dog run after installation.
While the mission of PUPS remains to keep off-leash hours in Fort Greene Park, we wonder if there's someone out there who would want to organize an offshoot of PUPS to help create a dog run in Cuyler Gore Park? Please feel free to get in touch with PUPS if you'd be interested in heading up such an effort. PUPS would be glad to help you find other like-minded individuals by sending out e.mails to the general membership, talking to you about our experience in working with Parks Department, elected officials and some of the local groups whose support you'd need, etc.
It could be a really great solution for the increasing number of neighborhood dog owners to have both options: 9:00 to 9:00 off-leash in Fort Greene Park and a permanent dog run in Cuyler Gore, a few blocks away.
Be in touch if you're a great organizer of people and want to take on a Herculean task!
See you in the park,
Nancy Peterson President, PUPS
To me, this sounds like a GREAT idea. It sounds as though installing a run in FG Park will take years, caught up in dealing with the city. Why not start a committee that works with the expertise PUPS has garnered over the years to petition for a run nearby? If you're interested in working on this project, email PUPG at firstname.lastname@example.org.