• Exploring solutions to restore the ground and strategies to come up with funds
  • Inviting community members to run for the board

Thank you for contacting the Forest Park Southeast Dog Park Board with your concerns. We truly wish to make the FPSE Dog Park a pleasant place to spend time with your dog-loving neighbors. Since we are a board of volunteers, we are not able to monitor the dog park on a daily basis. Therefore, we appreciate when members bring to our attention issues which require immediate attention.

The most common report we are receiving from concerned members is about the poor water drainage on the south side of the dog park which creates standing water, mud, and kills the grass. We are well aware of this issue and are working to generate creative solutions to correct the problem. But we are up against some tough obstacles. Since the dog park is at the lowest point of Chouteau Park, when it rains the water runs down and pools in the dog park. Additionally, despite numerous attempts on our part, the city is unwilling to modify the watering schedule so that the dog park gets watered by the sprinklers less often than the other parts of the park. Lastly, since the dog park’s sole purpose is to be a place for dogs hang out and, oftentimes, run to their heart’s content, the current ground cover takes a heavy beating. Combine this with the poor drainage and the result is a lot of mud.

The good news is that there are solutions available. There are several alternative ground cover options that could improve or hopefully extinguish the standing water/mud issue. Because of a strong desire from the community to refrain from using a ground cover that strays too far from grass, we opted not to put decomposed granite or other gravel-like options down. Other dog parks which use these options report that the gravel is dusty, gets caught in dogs’ paws, and tends to have a strong urine smell in warm temperatures. Keeping the flaws of grass and decomposed granite in mind, the Board is exploring the feasibility of leveling the surface of the ground and then putting down an artificial turf which looks identical to grass. This seems to be the most permanent solution, and the most aesthetically pleasing one.

This solution is, of course, not without cost. The price of resurfacing the dog park in turf is unfortunately many more times than the amount of money currently in the dog park’s coffers. We have always been committed to keeping the dog park a community space accessible to everyone, regardless of income, and as a result we do not have a huge reserve of capital to fund large renovations. We are exploring different strategies for raising the money needed, but we welcome input and ideas from members about how to creatively pay for this upgrade. If you have suggestions, we would love to hear them either by email or sitting down over a cup of coffee.

Lastly, we’d like to invite everyone to consider becoming more involved in the dog park leadership team by running for the board. Each current member of the volunteer board has been involved with the dog park since long before the dog park actually existed. We would love new ideas and fresh perspectives. If you are interested in running to be a board member, please contact us at fpsedogpark@gmail.com

Thanks for making the dog park great.