Dog park improvements sought for Fido

Holmes Beach dog park
A welcoming sign warns visitors they're entering a place where dogs rule. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH — This park may already have gone to the dogs, but that doesn’t mean improvements aren’t needed.

Seven pet owners appeared before members of the Holmes Beach Parks and Beautification Committee May 3 to ask for their assistance in planning an improved dog park.

Some of the issues cited with the park include lack of space in both the small and large dog areas, lack of grass in the area which results in muddy paws after rain showers and the need for at least one more pavilion to provide shade for owners to relax while their playful pups romp in the sunlight.

Commissioner Marvin Grossman, liaison to the committee, said he felt the owners coming to the city for help was “a little premature.” He, along with members of the parks and beautification committee, suggested the pet owners get together and present a unified plan to improve both the small and large dog sections of the park.

Committee members put a presentation from the dog park users on their October agenda. Following the May meeting, the committee began a four-month hiatus for the summer.

Committee Chair Jerry West suggested the dog park users create an informal committee to develop a plan and “speak as one voice” in the fall in front of the parks and beautification committee.

“Bring us a plan, or at least a loose-knit plan instead of a problem,” committee member Zan Fuller said.

Grossman said he felt the park users would receive support from city commissioners if a plan was presented and received the parks and beautification committee stamp of approval.

Committee members agreed that some changes are needed in the park but were unsure of how to make the best use of the space and meet the needs of both the pets that enjoy the park and their owners.

“They’re the ones using it,” Fuller said, “they need to determine what works best for them.”

The dog park users agreed to research and come up with a plan along with a proposed cost for the improvements to present to the committee when members begin meeting again in the fall. Grossman committed to bring the park to the attention of his fellow commissioners and help find funding for improvements if necessary.

“We’ll raise funds if necessary,” he said.