By Seth Daniel
Peters Park is about ready to get some major upgrades in the Dog Run and in the rest of the park as well, according to members of the Friends of Peters Park.
Neighbors announced at the Eight Streets Neighborhood Association meeting on Tuesday night, Sept. 13, that the contractor will begin work on the $80,000 renovation of the Dog Run, a project that is long anticipated.
“As of this morning, we have heard they will be getting to work this week,” said Bernard Peterson of the Friends of Peters Park and Eight Streets. “They plan to do some fencing this week and next week. The entire park project is expected to take about four or five weeks, so they’re talking about being finishing in mid-October, maybe the third week of October.”
The bigger piece of news that has been at issue with the Dog Run – one of the few official places dog owners can take their dogs off leash in the South End – has been what owners would do with their dogs during the four or five weeks of construction.
There had been many ideas floated around about temporary parks, but the end result has been a compromise where the dogs will stay in the Dog Run. Contractors will work on the Run in pieces, allowing dogs in the areas where they are not working.
“The dogs will stay in the park and they will move the dogs around to the places they’re not working,” said Peterson. “They will fence off the places where they are working.”
Eight Streets President Michael Almond said he felt the compromise would likely be well-received.
“In the end, that’s what the City wanted to do and the contracting company said they could do that,” he said. “I guess it has some benefits.”
Peterson said he was skeptical that it would work seamlessly, but felt it was a good decision in the end.
“This is better to keep the dogs where they’re supposed to be instead of moving them, creating controversy by putting temporary space for them in another park,” Peterson said.
Meanwhile, Almond indicated that they have formed a subcommittee to begin deciding how to spend mitigation money on the rest of the park – outside the Dog Run. As a community betterment payment, the Ink Block contributed $250,000 to Peters Park during its development.
Almond and Peterson said the time has come to begin trying to figure out how to spend that money on the park.
Some idea were floated, such as improving the children’s playground area due to the fact that there are a lot more young children in the Eight Streets neighborhood than in year’s past.
“A lot of that children’s play area is being used more than planned for,” said Ted Pietras, vice president of Eight Streets. “There are a lot more kids now than 10 years ago and a lot more dogs that 10 years ago too.”