Dogged determination, and hope from Obama, brings pooch playground closer to reality

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He may not have followed through on his promise for comprehensive immigration reform, or reduced the nation’s dependence on oil — but at least President Obama can point to a future dog park in the South Slope as one of his accomplishments.

Community Board 7 has signed off on a dog run in the “pocket park” on 18th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues — and dog lover Pam Brown said she became inspired to push for the pup playpen after watching Obama’s inauguration in 2008.

“I was inspired by it,” said Brown. “I thought, ‘Regardless of any other stuff in this world, I really want to do something to improve the community.’ Immediately, a dog park came to mind.”

Now, pending final approval from the Parks Department, the dog-walkers will no longer be wagging their tails on the wrong side of the law.

Brown and her 185 supporters had long been desperate for a place to let their pooches run free — but as the park became more popular among dog walkers, the city began to take notice of the renegade operation, issuing tickets and finally locking the park shut last month.

“That ignited everyone,” said Brown.

The dog-lovers swamped officials with letters in support of the project, and then came the important approval from the community board last week.

“This is more than a dog run, but an amenity that helps build community and comity,” CB7 District Manager Jeremy Laufer told the Parks Department last week.

If all goes as planned, Brown and her pack will have their dog run — though they will be on the hook for all maintenance and beautification.

But Brown said she had plenty of volunteers as eager to chip in as a dog getting ready to go for a walk.

“We have over 30 volunteers,” she said. “They’ll go to the park the first Monday of the month and look for any … feces that weren’t picked up.”

President Obama would be proud.

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Reader Feedback

Justine from Brooklyn says:
Good luck with the dog run. -- Best, Wet Nose Guide (
May 31, 2010, 9:36 am

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