Who let the dogs out?
After lots of labor, time and planning, the ribbon was finally cut on a brand new dog park in Prospect Park on Monday, the first day of Phase 3 of the reopening of New York City,
The Kensington Dog Run Association, a nonprofit group of neighbors who championed for a dog run in the Prospect Park Parade Grounds to accommodate the increasing number of dogs in surrounding communities, helped make the park a reality.
The Prospect Park Alliance designed the dog run. The $452,000 project was funded by Borough President Eric Adams and Councilmembers Mathieu Eugene and Brad Lander, and advocated by local groups Brooklyn FIDO and the Kensington Dog Run Association.
About a year ago, the elected officials and members of NYC Parks and the alliance gathered to break ground on the park. Now, they gathered to officially open it.
“It’s so significant when you think of the recovery aspect and the reopening,” said Adams. “Sometimes we forget the most important part of our families and that’s the pet population, our dogs, our cats and others.”
“We are here as a team,” said Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Martin Maher. “This is community-driven and supported by our elected officials, our two councilmembers, our borough president, and it’s at the nexus of Prospect Park South, Kensington and Windsor Terrace. It’s our business to make sure dogs can do their business. This is a great day.”
According to Prospect Park Alliance, the space includes 7,000 square feet of fenced-in space, separated areas for large dogs and small dogs, and an innovative canine-friendly turf, a first for a New York City park.
The surface is low maintenance and durable, and boasts superior drainage thanks to a porous backing which allows rainwater and dog waste to flow through the material. The turf also has an antimicrobial agent woven into its fibers that reduces the need for detergents or deodorizers.
The alliance said the dog run also will feature benches made of reclaimed wood from downed park trees. Additional enhancements include waste receptacles, water fountains, new trees and dog-waste-resistant shrubs.
“It’s a brand new construction and it’s just a glorious day,” said Christian Zimmerman of the Prospect Park Alliance. “We have a lot of people here that have been waiting for this and it’s really a great moment.”
“This is an extraordinary collaboration,” said Lander. “This helped come through participatory budgeting because the people of the Kensington dog run organized together.”
“I want to thank all the workers who made this possible,” said Eugene. “It took time but now we are here to celebrate.”
“The Kensington Dog Run is the result of several years of advocacy by our neighbors,” said Salvatore Garro, president of the Kensington Dog Run Association. “We engaged with our leaders and proudly campaigned for our four-legged friends who needed a place to play, exercise, and have fun.”