A Lot of Dogsters are working on establishing local dog parks. Here’s an excellent article with good advice for ways to build support and get those dog parks and beaches going!
Thanks to The Vancouver Sun for this helpful article.
How to help a beach go to the dogs
Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2007
(AP) – If you wish you could take your dog to the beach this summer, but find none nearby allows them, you may want to change that. Here are some tips on how to start the process of working with local officials to create a canine playground:
-Location is critical.
You’re unlikely to be able to appropriate a beach that’s already heavily used. But dogs don’t care about scenery, snack bars, or other amenities.
Justin Rudd, a community activist who helped create the dog beach in Long Beach, Calif., said he picked a spot that didn’t get much use because the proximity of the port meant that waves were inadequate for surfing.
“You don’t want to impact other things that are going on,” Rudd adds. “Is it going to affect the neighbours? Is it going to cost a lot of money to the city to maintain it, or put up a fence?”
Rudd began with a series of one-time dog beach gatherings, which he discovered were permitted under a loophole in the laws. “I sponsored special events for two years so I could prove to the city officials that it could happen.”
-Be good citizens.
Contribute by holding events that benefit the whole community, not just dogs. Rudd had a track record of organizing beach cleanups, which is a good way to show that you are serious about your stewardship of the public resource.
Use technology to reach out and find your constituency.
“The most powerful tool that I had was an e-mail database. I e-mailed my friends that had dogs, ‘Will you tell your friends that have dogs to send me their e-mail?’ so we could get in touch with them quickly and say ‘We need people to write letters to the editor, we need people to go to the town council meeting tomorrow.”‘
-Help work on a clear set of rules.
“The law is, one dog per adult,” at Long Beach, Rudd says. “The reason we did it when we started the beach was so it would be as controlled as possible. No aggressive dogs, no dogs in heat. We try to think of scenarios that make the dogs that are there as safe as possible.”
-Do your research.
Years of experience at established dog beaches shows that many problems that people anticipate do not in fact arise. “People are concerned about the poop factor. It’s just not there,” says Rudd. “People are pretty good about picking up after themselves. There’s no health risks that the city found in all of its studies.”