St. Clair ShoresJune 15, 2012
New camera gives bird’s eye view to members before hitting the park
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
Like other committees in the city, the one governing the Statler Maloof Bark Park at Brys Park puts together a list of accomplishments and goals each year.
But the committee also has a wish list with “fantasy” items it would love to have, but doesn’t have the resources to accomplish.
Up until recently, getting a Web camera into the park so members could check conditions beforehand was one of those fantasies. But then an anonymous donor came along and made their wish come true, said Marianne Courey, chairwoman of the Dog Park Committee.
“We’ve always thought about it, and just, it was kind of a fleeting thought in my head,” she said. “It would just be great for people to click in and see the park conditions — is it muddy? Do I not feel like getting my dog muddy today? Who’s there? I won’t bring my dogs there when they’re mowing the lawn because my dogs will chase the mowers.”
But members usually just had to take their chances, drive up and look before letting out their dogs.
The camera, which went live May 25 and can be found on the park’s website at www.maloofdogpark.com, gives viewers a 360-degree view of the park and the power to control and zoom it in for two minutes at a time. It does not record the footage.
“But even though it’s not recording, it’s a safety thing, and that was the added benefit of it,” Courey said. “We just thought it would be fun for our members.
“How many dogs are there? Is it overly busy? You don’t want to bring a young dog when there’s 30 dogs in the park — they’ll get overwhelmed.”
City Councilman John Caron, the council liaison to the Dog Park Committee, announced the new camera at the June 4 City Council meeting.
“It’s really cool; you can move it around,” he said.
Courey said she’s gotten lots of feedback from it on the park’s Facebook page.
“It got flooded, everybody’s looking at it,” she said. “I’ve gotten one or two people that are like, it feels a little creepy to be watched,” but then she told them the fun “things you can do with it and people are like ‘Oh, I never thought about that.’
“Everybody seems to love it and I think it’s one of a kind.”
The donor didn’t disclose the cost of the camera, but did pay for one year’s fees to keep the camera connected to the website’s IP address. After the year is up, the committee will have to fundraise to pay the $12 monthly fee.
“Right now, we’re just enjoying the year and seeing how it works,” Courey said. “Anybody can go on, even if the Police Department wanted to go on and check the parking lot. We’re excited to have it, we are loving it.”
The Statler Maloof Bark Park is still accepting new members, who can sign up at Civic Arena by bringing a copy of the dog’s current vaccination records and proof that it is licensed. The annual fee is $20 for residents and $30 for non-residents.
The committee will hold new member classes, required for all who join, at 6:30 p.m. June 21, at noon June 30 and 6:30 p.m. July 19. All classes are for humans only and held in Civic Arena.
To find out more about the park, or to see the webcam, visit www.maloofdogpark.com.
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