Editorial:

City should say yes to dog park at Homesteader

Posted

After the recent expulsion of dogs from the property and playgrounds of Park County School District No. 1, the Powell City Council might soon provide dogs — and their human companions — a place for recreation in the city.

The council is tentatively scheduled to vote Monday night on turning a three-quarter acre portion of Homesteader Park into an off-leash dog park. The grassy area, which includes trees, is located near Homesteader Park’s Seventh Street entrance, sitting directly south of the water tower.

We are hoping that they say yes.

The idea of a dog park was initially brought to the city council in April, when Tina Fagan and Judy Londo approached the council with the plan to turn Whitlock Park in the southeast part of Powell into a dog park. However, those who lived near Whitlock Park opposed locating the park there, citing concerns such as lower property values, noise and odor concerns, wear and tear on the grass, plus a lack of parking space.

However, the need for a dog park in Powell became more pronounced last month, when Park County School District No. 1 banned pets from its school grounds on Nov. 1. The ban was the result of school children repeatedly coming in contact with dog feces during recess.

The proposed dog park at Homesteader addresses the above concerns. First, Homesteader Park is not as close to residential neighborhoods as Whitlock Park, mitigating concerns of lower property values, noise and odor. Also, the proposed dog park at Homesteader will have four doggie bag stations and two garbage receptacles for pets’ waste. Signage at the entrances and in the park would also remind dog owners to clean up after their pets.

Several municipalities in Wyoming already have dog parks, including Casper, Cheyenne, Cody, Douglas, Gillette, Greybull, Jackson, Lander, Laramie, Rock Springs and Thermopolis. The nearest dog park to Powell — the Beck Lake dog park in Cody — has been a success, and a dog park in Powell could be as well.

When the idea of a dog park at Homesteader Park was brought before the council on Dec. 3, response toward the park was encouraging.

“I think it’s worth moving forward on,” Powell City Councilman Jim Hillberry said at the meeting.

Powell Mayor John Wetzel concurred with Hillberry in his support of Homesteader Park as a dog park location.

“I think council’s OK with this location,” Wetzel said at the council meeting.

When the dog park proposal comes back before the city council, it will likely be as a memorandum of understanding. But whatever form it takes, we encourage the council to say yes to the park. It is a need for Powell whose time has come.

Comments