A “bio-retention area” previously used as a makeshift dog run at Bruce Monroe Community Park in Park View will stay forever closed to sprinting canines, said District Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) officials.
A group of dog owners rallied to regain access to the unused patch of grass after workers locked the gate that led to it last month.
“People have been using that as a place to run their dogs for basically as long as the community garden has been there,” said dog owner and “Save the Bruce Monroe Community Park Dog Run” group organizer Dave Bobeck last month. “It’s been uncontested as far as I know and we want to restore access to that immediately if possible. Failing that, we’d at least like to know what the issues are with the dog run use and have a chance to address those issues.”
In a handout sent to Borderstan by ANC 1A Commissioner Rashida Brown, DPR makes its response clear:
“Foot traffic (by both humans and dogs) degrades the function of bio-retention areas by compacting the layers of soil that serves to absorb storm-water, eventually leading to erosion issues and reduced function of the bio-retention area. Further, dog waste (especially urine that can’t be picked up) is harmful to the required plantings in this type of bio-retention area.”
Furthermore, Brown said in an e-mail to Park View residents that “the padlock and ‘no dogs allowed’ sign on the gate around the bio-retention site must not be removed. Trespassing laws also apply to this area.”
But a permanently locked gate may soon be the least of the dog owners’ worries. A proposal to redevelop the Park Morton housing community could put the Bruce Monroe Community Park itself at risk of being paved over entirely.
Naturally, some Park View residents have already launched a petition to “Save Bruce Monroe Community Park” in response.
Petition-signers will meet with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to discuss the proposal at the Park View Recreation Center (693 Otis Place NW) tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.