Throw ‘em a bone! Marine Parkers want a dog run in place of former bocce courts • Brooklyn Paper

Throw ‘em a bone! Marine Parkers want a dog run in place of former bocce courts

Playing around: Marine Parker Felipe Acevedo and his dog Diablo like having access to the whole park to walk around and play in instead of a tiny fenced-in dog run.
File photo by Julianne Cuba

They’re really barking for it!

Marine Parkers are asking the city to transform an empty and fenced-off grassy area in the borough’s largest greensward into a dog run for neighborhood canines. Dog-lovers can let their four-legged friends run free in the park sans a leash before 9 am and after 9 pm, but they’re still wagging their tails for a genuine dog run — and the already-enclosed area seems like the perfect spot, said one owner.

“We need one,” said Marine Parker Tony Billeci, who brings his 13-year-old pup to the park everyday. “That’s a good idea, because there’s none here.”

Until recently, the space hosted temporary bocce courts while new ones were under construction. But with the brand-new courts now open, local dog owners say the city should throw them a bone.

More than 600 humans signed a petition last October asking the Parks Department to create a dog run in the park, and now that the $5.45 million overhaul of the green space is complete, it seems like a great opportunity to build one where the temporary bocce courts had been, said one Marine Parker, who wants her dog to be able to ruff around with friends.

“I don’t let him run in here, but it’d be nice that they could play in here,” said Lina, who declined to give her last name. “It’s good for them to socialize with other dogs.”

But some dog owners worry that the space — just off the Fillmore Avenue entrance — is too close to the street, and some rambunctious little pup could run off into the road and get killed, said Marine Parker Diana Baerga, who would love to see a run somewhere more secluded.

“I don’t think that dog owners here are going to be as careful as they should right next to the curb,” she said. “I think it’s good for the dogs, but not here, maybe somewhere else.”

The Parks Department is currently re-seeding the grass and has no plans for the empty space as yet, according to a spokeswoman. But if dog owners are serious about creating one, they will need an organized group that will maintain it and enforce rules, support from the community and Community Board 18, and an agreed-upon site, said the spokeswoman.

And creating a dog run also requires some green, which the local Council member said he does not have now, but could try to provide in the future if the local community groups all agree upon a site, he said.

“I don’t have a dog in that hunt — there are two opposing forces, people who like the idea that they can unleash their dogs before 9 in the morning and, of course, people who would like a dog run,” said Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Marine Park). “I’ll take advice from the Marine Park Civic Association, if they can come to an agreement as to what they would appreciate, and the Marine Park Alliance.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Make something out of nothing: Locals want the city to create a dog run in Marine Park where the former temporary bocce courts used to be.
Community News Group / Julianne Cuba

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