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February 16, 2009

KC residents want more dog parks

As the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department ponders its budget (2/8, Local, “Expect less from KC parks”), I encourage the parks commissioners to take advantage of our group’s long-standing offer to pay for an off-leash dog park at Sunnyside Park in Waldo. WOOF (Well Organized Off-Leash Friends) has never applied for city funds and has always been willing to raise the money to build this park, when and if it is approved.

On a recent Saturday afternoon I visited Penn Valley Dog Park, where roughly 80 people enjoyed the balmy weather with their pets. The No. 1 citizen request on the Parks Department’s 2008 citizen survey was more dog parks. Here’s hoping that the parks board will meet Mayor Funkhouser’s goal of increasing park usage and set an example for other grassroots groups by working with WOOF to build parks that people want.

Deb Hipp
Kansas City


Roman Luca

I was told that the Casemoe Family offered to donate all the property along the Trolley Track Trail at 85th & Main for a dog park. Why doesn't WOOF utilize that land so we don't have to wait for the city?



I think you may have misread the letter or misunderstand the issue.

What Deb, and most of the WOOF members, are advocating is allowing some portion of a number of EXISTING parks to turned into dog parks. According to WOOF, they are willing to pick of the tab for any renovations required, and the most it will cost the city is the time to pass revised designations.

If the WOOF people were looking for new parks to be picked up on the city's dime, I'd fully agree with you. Here, however, it seems like all they're looking for is the approval to spend their own money.


We are a big fan of dog parks and regularly visit the one at Heritage Park in Overland Park. When we moved here, I was surprised to find such a gem within a ten minute drive. But it's a luxury, and in times when police, firefighters and teachers are at risk of losing their jobs, I don't think more dog parks are -- or should be -- a priority in any department's budget.

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