Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Help Build a Dog Park on Greenwood

Commentary to the residents of Grants Pass, 10-11-12
Fellow Citizens:
          The September 27th Daily Courier reported that our City Council has approved building a dog park at the end of Greenwood Avenue, across from the entrance to the Water Reclamation Plant and at the beginning of the paved trail along the river leading into Reinhart Volunteer Park.  It will include public bathrooms that have long been needed at the Greenwood Overlook.
          This being Grants Pass, the Council has budgeted $17,400 for this $30,500 project, in the expectation that citizens will step up with volunteer labor, materials, and money.  This being Grants Pass, I believe that the people will do their part if they know about it.
          This gardener brought a proposal for this project to the Council back in January, and was gratified that staff quickly brought a proposal to the Council, as a dog park near the Reinhart Volunteer Park was already in the Parks Master Plan.  But the Council balked at the cost, wanting to hear some buy-in from more citizens. 
In January, I volunteered to weed the dog park of such nuisances as goat heads and star thistle on my almost-daily walks.  With the buy-in of city staff, I started weeding out goat heads in that area and along the walking path as they started to sprout in early summer.  I started cutting star thistle below the crown as it began to bloom, noting that there is a long lag time in those plants between ugly, spiny buds and seeding out, allowing ample opportunity to kill them before they seed.  The same cannot be said for goat heads, but they also die when cut below the crown while blooming.  They seed fast, but the seeds are big enough to pick up.  With only 20 minutes a day at most to devote to the task, the area is not cleared of either weed yet, but there are a lot less of them than last year, and next year I should control the area well.
This park will not only be convenient to people who live near Greenwood, but also many people who come from other parts of town and other places to walk their dogs in Reinhart Park on its fine walking paths.  It will also cut off access to the park by joy riders who have accessed its paved trails from the open Greenwood end, where they  just drive around the bolsters in the path, and it will bring a higher level of landscape maintenance to the Water Reclamation Plant property, helping bring it up to City code.
If you want this dog park, please step up with money, materials, or work that you can do to help make it happen.  Contact Jeff Nelson at City Hall to donate: 450-6000 or

Rycke Brown, Natural Gardener       541-955-9040  

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