Dog park attendance is on the rise

Additions could include water and shelter

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 8, 2015


EASTPOINTE — Since its completion at the start of the year and its official ribbon-cutting in March, the dog park at Eastpointe Memorial Park has seen its attendance grow.

Dog park attendance is limited to families that complete an hourlong etiquette class, according to John Marion, of the Michigan Dog Owners Group, the group that came together to establish the dog park. About 60 people have taken the etiquette class so far.

“I’d say it’s increasing every week; the attendance on the etiquette classes is up,” Marion said. “We’re pretty satisfied with how that’s going along.”

Cammie Kanakry, marketing and social media manager for the Recreation Authority of Roseville & Eastpointe, said that the authority administers the dog park and hosts the etiquette classes at the recreation authority building. So far, she said, 51 families have been issued entry key fobs, though she doesn’t know the specific number of dogs using the park, as some families have multiple animals.

“Once people complete the training (class), they come back to us and we issue them the key fob,” Kanakry said. “They (MiDog) are the ones that conduct the meetings, and they try to do two a month here.”

Marion said the classes typically last up to an hour and basically go over the expectations and rules for the dog park. MiDog tries to have classes on weekdays and weekends to accommodate different schedules, he added.

Most people who have signed up so far have been Eastpointe or Roseville residents, with more of those being Eastpointe residents than Roseville residents. Marion said that MiDog has seen a small number of Warren residents who live near the park signing up to use it, as well.

Just because the dog park is open does not mean that the people running it are resting on their laurels. Marion said that Eastpointe has been cooperating with MiDog in keeping the park maintained, and the city’s parks department is working on hooking up water to the dog park area.

“I know the park super-intendent is earnestly trying to get it organized,” Marion said. “Part of that (delay) is just based on his workload on a multitude of other, more important, issues, but it’s coming. He promised it in spring, and we’re still there.”

Once the water hookup is completed, Marion said, the next step will be to build a small shelter for the dog park where owners can hang out in case of rain or inclement weather.

He added that MiDog is hoping to raise enough money to install a splash pad for dogs to play in by the end of the summer.

“I think that would be a nice feature, if we could figure out how to do that,” Marion said. “And then, eventually, we want to get some agility things in there for the dogs to entertain themselves with, as well as the patrons.”

Kanakry said a list of upcoming etiquette classes could be found at Registration for the class can be done at the recreation center at 18185 Sycamore St. in Roseville, or by calling (586) 445-5480.