Cleveland’s first dog park opens at Clark Field
by Chuck Hoven
(Plain Press, July 2005) On June 24, 2005 the City of Cleveland celebrated the grand opening of Tremont’s Clark Field Dog Park, the first dog park to open in the City of Cleveland. It is located on approximately an acre of land in the old tennis courts by the large parking lot in Clark Field, just north of Clark Avenue and can be approached from W. 11th Street or W. 7th Street.
The grand opening featured a ice cream social to benefit Friends of Cleveland Kennel, Friends of Clark Field and Tremont Residents Empowering Animals to Socialize (TREATS). Purina and TREATS generously donated goody bags for all dogs and dog lovers attending the event.
Beverly Wurm, Chair of Friends of Clark Field, says the idea for a dog park at Clark Field emerged as part of a planning process that began in 2002 when Dr. Maurizio Sabini and graduate students from Kent State’s School of Urban Design volunteered to work with Tremont West Development Corporation (TWDC) and the City of Cleveland Parks and Recreation Department to develop a master plan for Clark Field.
Friends of Clark Field emerged from the planning process as a means to offer resident input. At the time of planning process, Tremont Residents Empowering Animals To Socialize (TREATS) was already working to provide a space for dogs to run at Lincoln Park.
The $70,000 budget for creating the new dog park included a $5,000 Neighborhood Connections Grant secured by Friends of Clark Field with a $5,000 match from Ward 13 Councilman Joe Cimperman. The remainder of the funds came from the City of Cleveland Parks and Recreation Department. In addition Friends of Clark Field planted ten trees around the dog park, part of over a hundred trees planted in Clark Field using funding from a $15,000 neighborhood improvement grant.
The tall fence of the former tennis courts surrounds the dog park. The gravel-filled dog park benches, shade trees, access to fresh water, and a state of the art drainage system.
Individual dog owners pick up after their own pets and place bagged dog droppings in a receptacle inside the dog park. Volunteers from TREATS and Friends of Clark Field inspect the park several times daily and empty the receptacle into a city trash container just outside the park and put new bags in the receptacle. The city picks up the outside container 2 or 3 times a week. Wurm says the city will adjust its pickup by monitoring the use of the dog park.
Rules for the dog park are posted on the fence. The park is open 8 AM to 9 PM daily. Owners must clean up after their pets and must remain with the dog. Dogs must be leashed when coming and going. Aggressive dogs are prohibited and must be removed immediately. Dog breeds required under city law to wear a mussel, must also wear a mussel while in the park. Dogs visiting the park should be healthy, fully immunized, de-wormed, and licensed with tags. Children under age 16 must be with an adult. The park has a limit of three dogs per person and puppies less than 4 months and female dogs in heat are prohibited.
For more information about the dog park call the City of Cleveland Parks and Recreation Department at 664-3550.
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