It seems that almost everywhere we go these days, we can find a dog park to visit with our dog. Everywhere, that is, except our own hometown of Pinecrest.
We go to Key West and spend afternoons at the dog park enjoying the ocean air and making new people friends while our dog runs free, plays ball or just rolls around in the dirt. We go to Boca Raton in Palm Beach County, same thing. Pembroke Pines has one of at least 26 dog parks in Broward County. And in Miami-Dade County, we have Kennedy Bark Park on South Bayshore Drive and Blanche Bark Park on Shipping Street and Virginia Avenue in the Grove; Amelia Earhart Bark Park in Hialeah and Palmetto Bay Bark Park on South Dixie Highway.
But right here in Pinecrest, right in our own backyard, so to speak, no dog park. A dog park is not just for dogs, although they certainly enjoy the freedom to run and play with other dogs.
A dog park is for people, too. Abark park fosters a sense of community. It reinforces a kinship with our neighbors. It’s easy to make new friends at a dog park. While dog parks attract people of all ages and from all walks of life, everyone has one thing in common — they love dogs. Everyone has an automatic icebreaker, and conversations and friendships spring up naturally.
It’s another way to enjoy the outdoors on a beautiful South Florida day, even if that means just sitting on a bench in the shade while your dog chases sticks. And it’s an opportunity for more sedentary dog owners to spend some time outdoors and give their dogs the chance to run and play.
In upstate Destin, a grass-roots effort started the wheels turning and a new dog park opened on Jan. 7, 2012. The grand opening of the Destin Dog Park saw more than 2,200 dogs and human visitors in the first week alone. A news article quoted a nearby city councilor who said, “I was absolutely amazed and astounded at the sense of community in that little park. I saw children, I saw elderly people, I saw people from all walks of life, all occupational levels, all co-existing in a safe, comfortable environment.”
We can do that here in Pinecrest. We certainly have enough dogs and dog lovers. Just walk around your neighborhood any morning or evening and you’ll see people of all ages, shapes and sizes walking dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes. If almost every municipality in Florida has a dog park, surely Pinecrest can find the space and resources to develop one of our own. A majority of Pinecrest dog owner/residents want a dog park right here. It’s a community project that is long overdue. Pinecrest pups deserve their own park. And Pinecrest residents can certainly make it happen. If you want a dog park in Pinecrest, it’s time to speak up to our elected officials. A citizens group of supporters, the Pinecrest Dog Park Committee, has made it easy. Please sign their online petition at www.PinecrestDogPark.com and “like” their Facebook page, Pinecrest Dog Park.
Or, contact the Village council at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them it’s time for Pinecrest pups to have their own park.