After settling into our new sanctuary in Reno last year, we got to meet many dog owners in Old South West who like to use Plumas Park to exercise their canine companions. Although not a designated dog park, it is the most common use of the park, and many pet owners allow their dogs off-leash, There are always conflicts at public facilities like Plumas Park, that see heavy traffic & mixed use. Some park users were complaining about dog feces, and out of control pets so Washoe County Animal Control stepped up enforcement and even issued a few tickets for dogs off-leash.
While we certainly understand and support common sense leash laws, and scorn those who refuse to clean-up after their pets, we also empathize with the desire to let our furry friends run free in neighborhood parks. The allowable uses for a public facility should be user-generated; it is our task as park users to learn to work together so the park is accessible, clean, and enjoyable for all.
We wanted to do something to be part of a positive change in our neighborhood. Last year we organized three park clean-up days that were well attend by neighbors, and, with the help of Kim from Hand-to-Paws Dog Grooming Salon, installed two dog waste bag dispensers. We hope to encourage everyone to be better stewards of the park everyday by picking up after their pets, and build a stronger sense of community amongst park users.
We are continuing our efforts to build a stronger sense of community in 2013. We will be hosting park clean-up days every third Saturday of the month through September. We invite everyone, dog lovers, soccer moms, and neighbors to join us in keeping the park clean and safe for everyone. If you would like to stay informed on Park clean-up days, you can sign-up here.
As long as we have neighbors we will have conflict. We hope these park clean-up days will help to build a foundation on which neighbors can learn to solve more complex or controversial issues that are certain to come up.