A city parks manager said yesterday that Boston is looking at how to put a dog park in every neighborhood - potentially good news for residents in the city's southern half, who currently have none and who have been repeatedly rebuffed by state officials on the large expanses of state parkland in the area.
The issue came up last night in a meeting about rebuilding the playground and paths at West Roxbury's Millennium Park. Although they knew it was "out of scope" for the meeting, several residents brought up the issues of dogs and a possible dog park at the large park along the Charles River.
"We're working toward a dog park in every neighborhood," Allison Perlman, a Parks and Recreation project manager for the Millennium Park work, said.
Park regular David Wean of Roslindale, said Millennium really needs a dog park if only to isolate the "really entitled" dog owners who now let their unleashed animals roam free, no matter how many signs parks workers put up about dog leashing. "Two friends of mine have been attacked by loose dogs," he said.
Perlman acknowledged she's heard stories like that from so many people.
"Perhaps Millennium Park is an ideal location for a dog park," she said, adding, however, "We haven't looked into it yet."
However, the same issue that will make it challenging to put in a new playground and possibly a permanent restroom building will likely doom any dog park proposal: The fact that the park sits atop five decades worth of Boston trash, which is sealed in mainly by plastic sheeting.
In fact, several years ago, dog owners in West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Roslindale organized to get a dog park built in southwest Boston - and originally proposed one for Millennium Park, only to be told that was impossible because of concerns any construction might puncture or damage the lining.
So they found a spot in the state's Stony Brook Reservation, raised $10,000 to design a dog park at a long abandoned playground facility for children with disabilities and spent a couple of years working with DCR on the plans, only to be foiled by state Rep. Angelo Scaccia of Hyde Park, who managed to kill the plans, which led DCR to come up with an alleged alternative plan to make an entire third of the reservation into a dog park, which, of course, it then never followed through on.
In 2018, DCR proposed a dog park on a stretch of the Southwest Corridor Park in Jamaica Plain. DCR shelved those plans last year.