Two potential locations for new dog parks in Duluth

By KBJR News 1

November 13, 2013 Updated Nov 13, 2013 at 8:02 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Duluth City Council approved two potential spots for dog parks in the city Tuesday night following a heated debate between councilors and community members.

The City Council resolution to potentially open two new dog parks identified Russell Square and Observation Park as the best possible locations.

The Council's approval of new dog park potential sites has sparked quite a conversation in the community.

Some feel the new dog parks enhance the overall quality of life throughout the city...

"Larger dogs need to run, walking them isn't enough. I have a small dog, and he does just fine but he also needs to run, and I'm fortunate that I have a fenced in back yard, but not everybody has that," said Sharla Gardner, a Duluth City Councilor.

But others feel differently.

"The field gets used by a lot of different people... I think turning the field into a dog park just limits the potential of the space," said Zach Walters of Jungle Boy Boxing.

Space, Walters says, that is already being used for a variety of activities.

"It's a great field, there's people who bring pick-up games of softball, football, Frisbee, Frisbee touch football... I mean there's people in the park all the time in the summer," said Walters.

City Councilor Dan Hartman, a strong supporter of the park, says the community has seen positive feedback from the already existing dog park and says there is a need for more.

"It turns out that a lot of the people who use Keene Creek are from east Duluth and in central Duluth, and so it only makes sense that we expand our dog park network," said Hartman.

Talk about expanding dog parks in the city has been going on for over a year now, and if the parks are approved they will be privately funded.

The funds would come entirely from donations from those who support the new dog parks, however the upkeep would have to be paid for by the city.

Elsa Robins