It’s finally official. After years of neighborhood arguments, years of planning, and months of construction, the new S street dog park is finally open. Yesterday, Mayor Adrian Fenty, Councilmember Jack Evans, and several other DC political types gave speeches about how great the new park is going to be, patted themselves on the back, and then made it official by cutting a dog leash, not a ribbon. Ximena Hartsock, the Director of Parks and Recreation was on hand for the event as was the old Director, Clark Ray, who was axed by Fenty back in April. It appears that there are no hard feelings between Fenty and Ray as the mayor gave credit to him for turning the dream into a reality. As Jack Evans said (who brought his dog Kelly to the park), Fenty’s motto is “get it done”.
It seems as though Mayor Fenty is making a name for himself in this town by sprucing up or completely rebuilding some of our parks, and not without controversy. These parks aren’t just getting some new grass and a drinking fountain. They’re getting new landscaping, artificial turf, benches, fencing, ornate stone walkways, and additional lighting. Oh, and drinking fountains. Dog drinking fountains.
It has been well over a month since the above photo was taken of the dog park at 17th & S. Since then, a small tractor was moved inside the fence giving people hope that construction would finally begin, but was then removed about a week ago. Dog park patrons have still been utilizing a small opening in the fence to let their dogs run around, but yesterday a lock was installed to keep people out. If they’re not going to do any construction, why keep people out?
Mayor Fenty said that the park would be completed by Memorial Day. I’m hoping he meant 2009.
photo courtesy of Max
I moved to Dupont Circle in late 2003 which seems like an eternity ago. Not much has changed in the neighborhood since then. Some new restaurants have opened up on 17th street, property prices went way up and then slid back down again, and the “S street dog park” has turned into a barren, dusty, dirt bowl.