The Mother Matilda Beasley Park is located on East Broad Street in downtown Savannah. The dog park was created in Spring 2008 and is maintained by the Chatham County Commissioners.

This site is very unofficial and is for the benefit of dogs and dog owners who frequent the park or those that are interested in visiting. We have no authority over the park except for our mutual interest in keeping it a vital community space.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Association for Improvements?

Dear dog parents,

I'm Pauline, Sacha's mom. Sacha and I, both long-time dog park veterans, are both thrilled that this new dog park came along. The short drives, wildflower strewn vistas & church steeple, the open spaces with soft stuff to run on, the cool people and cooler dogs.

But we see things that could be improved. Though Sacha loves the mud and I can live with it (it miraculously disappears from her coat), many people hate it. The beautiful grass is fast disappearing. The gate has a gap so big that small dogs can get out and that brings out the worst in dogs with a tendency to gate-aggression. The uncovered garbage cans stink. One of the pools is broken. There is not enough seating, and the picnic table benches are very uncomfortable. There are no umbrellas or anything for shade.

All of these things would take money to improve. The park is free, and the county is obviously doing the minimum.

I propose that we take these steps:

--first, have a couple of open meetings on a Saturday or Sunday morning to brainstorming what we want to buy or fix and how we want to do it, and figure out how much money and work would be involved.

--to meet a specific monetary goal, encourage voluntary donations from users based on ability to pay and amount of use and...

--have a program of fund-raising activities, such as a used-book sale or holiday party

--recruit volunteers for whatever activities we need to realize our plan, from advertising events to making purchases to to laying paving stones.

I know everyone is busy. I myself work eight to thirteen-hour days all week. And nobody wants a holier-than-thou junta unilaterally laying down the law or anything like that. But I think there are probably enough of us with either a little bit of time or a little bit of money, or both, to spare that could make a really good dog park into a great one.

And it could be fun.

Is anyone interested?


christy long said...

well i think the seating issue is alright. when i would take baker to the dog beaches in california, people would bring their own chairs if they really need to sit((i might bring my own chair as im farther along with my pregnancy,-and let my hubby monitor my baker)). there is nothing wrong with wanting to chill and have seat, but its also good to get up and play with the dogs. more benches is less room for the dogs to run. the park is for the dogs!!
also, i notice at the park in starlight they do have lids on the trash cans, but when you lift them to throw the poop away....the stench kills......yuck. at least with no lid it gets air. but it could be ok, i dont know what the rainy season is like here.
the one thing that i could say might be bad about an association is if people cant make it because of any reason...i wouldnt want anyone to think they have more right to be at the dog park than some one else. it is public and all are welcome. :)

i am dave said...

a few things that i feel are problems is the excessive mud not due to rain but to people being careless about the hose. i do not mind contributing and helping the park at all. i think one quick solution to the mud around the hose area would be pea gravel instead of pine needles. the water would go right through the gravel without creating mud on the surface and it would be more difficult for the dogs who dig to dig it up.

Kate Farley said...

In many ways, the people that are regular readers and/or contributors to this blog already function as a sort of association.

I must admit that I'm leery of doing anything too formal as it is a public park and I really feel like A. it could create a cliquey feel which is something that our park so far has resisted and B. it really should be the county's responsibility for the upkeep. That said, if there are folks that want to take on the responsibility of contacting the county commissioners, I'm all for that.

Ashley said...

It doesn't take a formal association to express individual appreciation for the facility. It's important that the folks with the purse-strings know how many people utilize, and are grateful for, this important public space.

If anyone wants to drop a line to the county commissioner responsible for the park, James Holmes, he is best reached via (Gail Gordon is the chairman's administrative assistant).