Saturday, September 1, 2007

Let's pack this meeting!

On Tuesday, September 4th, there will be a meeting to discuss how 40 million dollars in city funds earmarked for improvements to Riverside and Fort Washington Parks should be spent.

The affected area is from 145th St. to Dyckman St. Everyone is free to come, ask questions, and make suggestions.

Even if you don't have something you want to advocate for (for example, improvements to the dog run--we could sure use running water, and lighting for those long winter months when it's dark out by 5pm), it's important that dog owners in the area be present to make sure none of the proposed changes make it harder for us to exercise our dogs, particularly down by the river. And that could happen very easily. Both parks are on narrow strips of land, and are used by a whole lot of people. And our dogs. The run is great, but we need the park too.

All the different groups using the parks should get to share them in proportion to numbers and activity, and we are one of the largest and most active groups using Fort Washington Park, especially during offleash hours. The dog run is also on park-controlled land.

The dogs and dog owners living between 145th & Dyckman conservatively number in the
tens of thousands. Think about it. How many times in the course of one week do you walk your dog, and see one or several other pooches you've never seen before? Our numbers are growing. We should have a strong representation at this meeting, so that the Parks Dept. knows we're a force to be reckoned with. There may be other meetings elsewhere, but this is likely to be the one closest to the dog run.

The meeting will be on
Tuesday, at 7pm. It will be held at this location:

New York Presbyterian Hospital
Milstein Building
Baldwin Hall (1st Floor)
177 Fort Washington Avenue (between 165th & 168th St.)

For further information, contact Sarah Fort, Partnership for Parks Outreach, (212)408-0230

And no, she probably wouldn't let us bring our dogs to the meeting. Just as well--they'd probably find it pretty boring, anyway. But if we show up in good enough numbers, it might turn out to be more interesting than anyone imagined.

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