Folks in Oak Cliff have been pushing for an Oak Cliff dog park for a while now. More specifically, they've been lobbying the city to pitch in for a permanent one, since they have the pop-up thing down by now.
Yesterday brought good news. According to a post on FIDO Oak Cliff's website, the city has agreed to develop a site plan and cost estimate for a permanent dog park at Kidd Springs Park.
In a letter, Councilwoman Delia Jasso cited the success of the pop-up dog park at the weekend's Mardi Gras celebration as proof "that there is a huge need for this in our area."
Michael Reagan co-founded FIDO OC in 2010 after he and neighbors became frustrated with the city's slow-moving plans for a dog park south of I-30. There was talk of putting one at Pinnacle or Kiest Park, but those would only be built in the distant future.
Reagan traces the city's newly changed attitude in part to Scott Griggs, who appointed Reagan to the city's Park Board and has pushed for a dog park at Kidd Springs even though it's not actually in his district, and receptive park staff, key among them newly appointed parks head Willis Winters.
The final straw came when Winters attended Oak Cliff's Dash For the Beads over the weekend, proceeds from which go to FIDO OC.
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"When he really saw how many people came out to support this event and the success of the demonstration [dog] park that weekend and the number of people that came out with their dogs, that was the tipping point," Reagan said.
A formal timeline will have to wait until the city completes its site plan, but Reagan thinks there's enough room for separate areas for large and small dogs. And he and his fellow Oak Cliff dog lovers are pushing to make it a reality as soon as possible. "I'm hoping for yesterday," Reagan says. To help things along, FIDO OC has raised between $20,000 and $30,000 it plans to put into the park, with a more concerted fundraising effort in the works.
But this is definitely progress.
"It's felt like a very long time coming to where we are today, but we've got a little way to go," he said.