As the state of space for dogs and dog walkers has come to a head this week in Charlestown, the state of Massachusetts indicated they a long-term plan and would build a new Dog Park at Paul Revere Park with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) as mitigation for the North Washington Street Bridge construction.
Few knew of this commitment until now.
There have been a number of incidents over the past several months as people, dogs, dog owners and dog businesses have collided in the kind of turmoil that could be compared to a five-car pileup in the middle of City Square. Over the past month there have been unconfirmed reports of dogs being poisoned in the parks, of dogs getting electrocuted on sidewalks, and last week of two dog walkers giving each other an aggravated beatdown near Galvin Green.
All parties have agreed that the population of dogs is Charlestown is reaching a point that there needs to be an official place for those dogs.
Apparently, though few knew, there is a long-term plan that involves Paul Revere Park – which has become an unofficial off-leash dog park for hundreds of residents and their canine pals.
A spokesperson for the DCR said there is a dog park in their plans for Paul Revere Park within the context of the bridge reconstruction.
While that reconstruction included a new playground, which has been completed, in Paul Revere Park at a cost of $550,000 – it also apparently includes the construction of a dog park.
“Additionally, as part of the North Washington Bridge Project, MassDOT will construct a new dog park within Paul Revere Park in close collaboration with DCR and input from community stakeholders,” read the statement.
Few people knew about that commitment in the community, but it was well received.
DCR indicated that MassDOT would have more information.
MassDOT referred the paper to Boston Parks Department.
Boston Parks referred the paper back to DCR.
The buck, however, did stop at State Rep. Dan Ryan – who said he is well aware of the issue and has been working with all parties to develop a short-term solution to go with the long-term plan unveiled this week.
“There is a long-term vision and promise for a designated dog park on DCR property when completion of the bridge is done,” he said. “In the short-term we are working with MassDOT, as well as DCR, to formalize and regulate state land that is already being used by local dog owners. The idea of a free standing designated area for those responsible dog owners who want to allow their pups to go off-leash is one that I support. What has been a casual understanding at Paul Revere and Galvin Green has now become something that needs to be more closely watched and structured. The Charlestown Dogs Group and other Friends Groups in Town do a really good job of advocating and maintaining our public spaces. I’m quite confident we will have a formal, mutual understanding shortly.”