Still no progress on DCR’s dog park

Over six months after state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) nixed the Anson Street dog park proposal, there are still no additional proposals or concrete plans moving forward from the state agency.

In response to a growing demand for a dog park in Jamaica Plain, DCR held a public meeting on April 5 of this year to propose a dog park at Anson Street. On June 21, it was announced that this plan was rejected due to “a strong element of opposition, particularly among abutters,” according to Leo Roy, commissioner of DCR.

Half a year ago, the agency reported that it would be going back to the drawing boards and drafting up a new proposal for a dog park location. Today, their official statement has not changed.

“Since the spring of 2017, DCR and its consultants have been conducting reviews of various sites for an off-leash dog area within the Southwest Corridor Park to determine the best locations for Jamaica Plain’s canine owners,” said Mark Steffen, spokesperson for DCR. “Currently, sites are being evaluated to better understand the benefits and drawbacks of each. The factors being considered for potential sites include acreage, parking, proximity to public transit, and the impact on abutters or surrounding properties.”

The Gazette asked which sites in particular were being evaluated, to which no answer was given except that the agency anticipates preparing a proposal over the course of the winter. The proposal will be presented at a public meeting for residents of Jamaica Plain to share their thoughts and ask questions about the potential site locations.

Steffen said that establishing a new off-leash dog area for Jamaica Plain is one component in the DCR’s larger initiative in exploring similar park features within other neighborhoods in the Greater Boston area, including the Back Bay, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hingham, Hyde Park, and Newton.

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