Shirlington Dog Park Newsletter for December 2018

1.   Parking Issues:
Despite my objections, the County Board approved the Four Mile Run Valley Master Plan without any plans to recover the 30 parking spaces that will be lost when Jennie Dean Park is redone.  This will make finding parking near the dog park even more difficult.  To increase turnover and prevent vehicles from being parked there all day, the county will be implementing over the next several months enforceable 2 or 4 hour time limits in the area near the main entrance to the dog park.  We will have to see if this will help.

2.   Please review the county’s Public Spaces Master Plan at: parks.arlingtonva.us and share your thoughts by Dec 9 particularly concerning dog parks which starts on page 225. Points to emphasize: Dog parks are the most visited of all parks in the county yet get less resources; New dog parks are desperately needed but the standards as written would not make them successful; Minimum size should be at least 20,000 square feet and optimal size of 1 to 2 acres; Remove synthetic turf and artificial grass as a surface material standard for not only are they extremely problematic it greatly increases the cost to build and maintain; Standards should be performance based.  New dog parks need to be successful to ease the burden on the Shirlington dog park.      

3.   Please help keep the park clean by making sure everyone picks up after their dogs and has them in sight at all times.  The future of the dog park depends on park users keeping it clean of poop and trash.

4.   As we approach the shortest daylight time of the year, please note that the Shirlington dog park closes 30 minutes after sunset.  Everyone and their dogs MUST be out of the park by then. See the link on our site for details and list of other dog parks that are open later.


Wishing you and your pups a Wonderful Holiday
and a Safe and Happy New Year.
from, Keith

October 2018 Newsletter

1.   Results From Fall Cleanup and Fundraiser
Thanks to all who made a donation.  We came close to our goal of $4,000 by raising $3,775.  Thank you to Copperwood Tavern Restaurant in Shirlington Village for donating gift cards.  Also thanks to all those who helped in the cleanup including Carlton Willis, James Warmack, Jennifer Agabin, Natalie Carr, Tina Worden, Tommy Worden and Tess, (we didn’t get her last name).  You can also make a donation anytime at our web site: http://www.ShirlingtonDogs.org

2.   Please help keep the cleanup efforts going by making sure everyone picks up after their dogs and to do that you need to keep your dogs in sight at all times.  The future of the dog park depends on park users keeping it clean of poop and trash.
 

3.   As the days are getting shorter, please note that the Shirlington dog park closes 30 minutes after sunset.  Everyone and their dogs MUST be out of the park by then.  Violators are subject to being cited for trespassing. The closest dog park that has lights and is open later is Ft Bernard, which is up the hill on Walter Reed Drive.  See the link on our site for details and list of other dog parks that are open later.

4. Lost and Found
If you find any item including keys, wallets, etc., please place in the mail slot on the door to the shed near the main entrance to the park.  And if you have lost an item you can send an email to info@shirlingtondogs.org and hopefully you and your lost item will be reunited. 

5. We are in need of clean plastic bags, such as those your newspaper comes in, for use in picking up dog poop.  Please put them in the two green mailboxes at either end of the park.  You can also place them all in an outer bag and hang it on the shed door handle.

September 2018 Newsletter

1.   Fall Clean-up and Fund Raiser
Mark your calendars for October 13 &14 as the dog park will have its fall clean-up and fund raising weekend.  Come show your support by helping with the clean-up starting at 10:00 both mornings. We will also be collecting donations both days and will have the dog park car magnets available. You can also make a donation anytime at our web site: http://www.ShirlingtonDogs.org

2.   Please check with your employer to see if they have a giving program that will donate to support the dog park.  Shirlington Dogs II is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is also registered through the Benevity Giving Platform.

3. We are in need of clean plastic bags such as those your newspaper comes in, for use in picking up dog poop.  Please bring the bags to the park and put them in the two green mailboxes at either end of the park.  You can also place them in an outer bag and hang it on the shed door handle.

4. The entire parking area next to the dog park entrance will be closed all day on Sunday, Sept 30, for Valley Fest.  Oakland St will also be closed and parking will be very limited in the surrounding area as well.

5. As the days are getting shorter, please note that the Shirlington dog park closes 30 minutes after sunset.  Everyone and their dogs MUST be out of the park by then.  The closest dog park that has lights and is open later is Ft Bernard, which is up the hill on Walter Reed Drive.  See the link on our site for details and list of other dog parks that are open later.

August 2018 Newsletter

1. If you ever drive to the Shirlington dog park we strongly urge you to submit your feedback regarding the lack of available parking the Four Mile Run Parks Master Plan and Area Master Plan will provide:
https://projects.arlingtonva.us/plans-studies/four-mile-run-valley/4mrv-meeting-documents/4mrv-feedback/ 

The Jennie Dean Park concept plan permanently eliminates 43 parking spaces there.  Even with the conversion of existing 20 parallel parking spaces on the south side of Four Mile Run Drive in front of the park with 32 angled parking spaces when the current two travel lanes in each direction are reduced to only one travel lane, there will still be a net LOSS of over 30 spaces for the area near the dog park. The demand for parking from dog park visitors as well as the nearby businesses will only increase over time, making the situation even worse.

2. Far too many people are not picking up after their dogs.  We cannot expect county support of the dog park if it is not kept clean.  Park users are totally responsible for picking up the dog waste and trash.  It is important for you to remind those who are not doing so. 

3. Please remember that the stream is NOT part of the Shirlington dog park and can be dangerous. Four Mile Run is an urban stream that at any time can carry a variety of pollutants as well as debris that can harm your dog and you.  For more info please visit: https://parks.arlingtonva.us/parksfacilities/dog-parks/dog-play-stream/

4.  Bring your dog along for the 10th Annual Prevent Cancer Health Fair and 5k Walk/Run on Sunday, September 16 at Nationals Park! In addition to the route around the beautiful Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, there will be a health fair, access to the Nationals’ batting cages and dugouts, and fun activities for kids. There will also be activities for your four-legged friends, including a special dog course and a dog area with photo ops. Kids 12 and under and dogs are FREE and you can save an extra $5 off registration when you use the code NOVADOG at checkout (code expires August 31). For more information and to register, visit: https://www.preventcancer5k.org

 

July 2018 Newsletter

1. To keep your dog safe during these Dog Days of Summer watch for signs of hyperthermia and never leave your dog in the car.  The heat is far more stressful for dogs than humans and can be deadly.  For more info: https://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/pmahaney/2012/july/risky_dog_days_of_summer-26515

2. Please remember that the stream is NOT part of the Shirlington dog park and is not enclosed on the far bank.  Four Mile Run is an urban stream that at any time can carry a variety of pollutants as well as debris that can harm your dog and you.  For more info please visit:     https://parks.arlingtonva.us/parksfacilities/dog-parks/dog-play-stream/

3. New District Brewing Company located near the dog park on S. Oakland St. began a New District Dog Club Pilot for those interested in bringing their non-service dogs into the brewery.  A portion of the membership fee to the New District Dog Club will be donated to Shirlington Dogs II.  Visit their site for information:
http://www.newdistrictbrewing.com/dog-club-pilot/

Remember that NO food or alcohol is allowed in the dog park at any time.

4.  The Animal Welfare League of Arlington provides numerous services for pet owners as well as adoptions.  These include low cost spay/neuter programs and a pet food bank.  For more info: https://www.awla.org/

 

June 2018 Newsletter

1. Last month the County board adopted the Four Mile Run Valley Policy Framework.  This included language that maintains the Shirlington dog park at its current size and configuration. This is in no small part to all of you who have voiced your support for our dog park.  We still need to make sure that funds become available to make the improvements that were recommended by the Dog Park Committee.  With my urging the Planning Commission passed a motion to have the County take steps to reclaim the land that a private business has been using to store vehicles and trash next to the middle gate.  County staff has agreed to have the encroachments removed and reestablish for park use.  For more info visit:
https://newsroom.arlingtonva.us/release/four-mile-run-valley-framework-policy-adopted/

2. To prevent further erosion of the stream bank and the dog park please do not walk along outside of the fence bordering the park on the side facing the stream and remind those you see.  Signs are posted on either end of the fence.

3. Now that it is summer more of you will want to go down to the stream with your dog.  Remember that the stream is NOT part of the Shirlington dog park and can be dangerous. Four Mile Run is an urban stream that at any time can carry a variety of pollutants as well as debris that can harm your dog and you.  For more info please visit: https://parks.arlingtonva.us/parksfacilities/dog-parks/dog-play-stream/

4.  The fifth annual Pops for Pets Concert is Sunday, June 24 at 6:00 PM at the Lubber Run Amphitheater.  This is a free concert celebrating the work being done by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.  If your pups enjoy music they are invited as well.  For more info: http://www.arlingtonphilharmonic.org/

 

May 2018 Newsletter

1. Spring Cleanup and Fund Raiser Results:
Thank you to everyone that contributed the weekend of May 5 and 6.  We raised over $3,900, which goes toward purchasing the poop bags as well as other supplies and maintenance for the dog park.  You can make a tax- deductible donation anytime from our web site:
https://shirlingtondogs.org and click on the “donate” bone.

    
A big thanks to those who helped with spreading mulch and park cleanup led by Carlton Willis, Jennifer Agabin and James Warmack.  You can keep the effort going by picking up trash and poop if you see it every time you visit.

 

2. As the weather warms up more of you will want to go down to the stream with your dog.  Remember that the stream is NOT part of the Shirlington Dog Park and can be dangerous. Four Mile Run is an urban stream that at any time can carry a variety of pollutants as well as debris that can harm your dog and you.  For more info please visit:

https://parks.arlingtonva.us/parksfacilities/dog-parks/dog-play-stream/

 

3. We are always in need of clean plastic bags such as those your newspaper comes in, for use in picking up dog poop.  Please bring the bags to the park and place in the two green mailboxes at either end of the park.  If they are already full, please place in an outer bag and hang it on the shed door handle.  This will help cut down the number of bags we have to purchase.

April 2018 Newsletter

1.   Spring Clean-up and Fund Raiser
Mark your calendars for May 5 and 6 as the dog park will have its Spring clean-up and fund raising weekend.  Come show your support by participating in the clean-up starting at 10:00 both mornings. We will be spreading mulch around the trees, picking up trash and doing other tasks.  We will also be collecting donations both days and will have the new dog park magnets available. You can also make a donation anytime at our web site: http://www.ShirlingtonDogs.org

2.   We are in need of clean plastic bags such as those your newspaper comes in, for use in picking up dog poop.  Please bring the bags to the park and place in the two green mailboxes at either end of the park.  If they are already full, please place in an outer bag and hang it on the shed door handle.

3.   This is a good time to check to make sure your dogs are up to date on their rabies and other vaccines and they have their current license before bringing them to any dog park.  There is a link for info at our site under “Resources”.

4.   Please be advised the Shirlington Dog Park closes 30 minutes after sunset.  Everyone and their dogs MUST be out of the park by then.  The closest dog park that has lights and is open later is Ft Bernard, which is up the hill on Walter Reed Drive.  See the link on our site for details and list of other dog parks that are open later. 

March 2018 Newsletter UPDATED

1.    The dog park will be closed including the small dog area Tuesday morning, March 27, 8:00 AM to noon for maintenance and to remove the fallen tree.  This was rescheduled due to the recent snow.  Please "join" to receive important dog park news.

2.    County contractors will be treating an invasive species, Lesser Celandine, along the Four Mile Run Stream outside the fence of the Shirlington Dog Park during the week of March 12th.  The areas treated with herbicide will have signs posted to notify park users.  There should be no danger to dogs or people inside the dog park. Please be aware that we are requesting everyone not to walk along the outside of the fence at all times anyway to reduce erosion of the stream bank and for your safety.

3.    DC Paws Rescue Group is hosting a pet adoption event at Dogma in the Shirlington Village on March 18, noon to 2:00PM.

4.    Animal Welfare League of Arlington hosts their monthly Low-Cost Rabies & Microchip Clinic March 22, 6:30PM - 8:30PM. https://www.awla.org/events/

5.    Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is hosting a Pet & Animal Care Spring Camp for students, ages 8-12, March 26-30. More info: https://alexandriaanimals.org/event/awla-spring-camp/

6.    Please be advised the Shirlington Dog Park closes 30 minutes after sunset.  Everyone and their dogs MUST be out of the park by then.  The closest dog park that has lights and is open later is Ft Bernard, which is up the hill on Walter Reed Drive.  See the link on our site for details and list of other dog parks that are open later.  www.ShirlingtonDogs.org

February 2018 Newsletter

1.    In conjunction with the Humane Society’s annual World Spay Day, during the month of February and while supplies last, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, AWLA, will offer significantly discounted Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Vouchers to low-income residents of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.  For more info visit their site: https://www.awla.org/services/low-cost-spayneuter/

2.    There have been no new developments within the Four Mile Run Valley Initiative regarding the Shirlington Dog Park since the release of the Dog Park Committee’s report this past fall, but it is best to stay vigilant and continue to let County staff and leadership know how vital the dog park is to you.  For the latest news and to view the various documents go to their site:  www.4MRV.com

3.    As part of the ongoing initiative, county staff is looking at ways to improve the parking situation in the area. I have been advocating for some time that more spaces need to be made available for dog park users, but the county has been very slow to respond.  If you drive to the dog park and have difficulty parking please let the county know and also inform them if you would be willing to pay a small fee if it meant having more spaces available at any given time.  You can email your comments to: des@arlingtonva.us and Scrim@arlingtonva.us

4.    There still might be more snow in the forecast for this winter; as the groundhog did see its shadow.  Remember that it is just as important to pick up the poop when there is snow on the ground and at all times regardless of the weather. 

5.    Please be advised the Shirlington Dog Park closes 30 minutes after sunset.  Everyone and their dogs MUST be out of the park by then.  The closest dog park that has lights and is open later is Ft Bernard, which is up the hill on Walter Reed Drive.  See the link on our site for details and list of other dog parks that are open later. 

December Newsletter

1.  Recent Dog Attacks

Regarding the recent dog attacks in the park, Arlington Animal Control is garnering all the supportive documents to present this case to the commonwealth’s attorney to place restrictions on the owner and his dog.  If you or your dog has been attacked or if you were a witness to an attack please email Animal Control at jtoussaint@awla.org to provide your contact information, time and place of the attack and as much descriptions as you can.  Remember that any dog attack must be reported immediately to them at 703-931-9241.

2.  Dog Park Closed at Dark

The Shirlington Dog Park closes 30 minutes after sunset.  Everyone and their dogs MUST be out of the park by then.  This needs to be enforced for your safety and the well being of the park.  The closest dog park that has lights and is open later is Ft Bernard, which is up the hill on Walter Reed Drive.  See the Resources page for details and list of other dog parks open later.

3.  Plastic bags Needed

We are in need of clean plastic bags such as those your newspaper comes in, for use in picking up dog poop.  Please bring the bags to the park and place in either of the two green mail boxes at either end of the park.  If they are already full, please place in an outer bag and hang on the shed door handle.

4.  Happy Holidays

Wishing you and your pups very happy and safe holidays!

November Newsletter

1.  Dog Park Closed at Dark

With daylight savings ending this weekend the sun will set around 5:00 and earlier as we head toward the winter solstice.  Remember the Shirlington Dog Park closes 30 minutes after sunset.  Everyone and their dogs MUST be out of the park by then.  The closest dog park that is open later is Ft Bernard, which is up the hill on Walter Reed Drive.  It has lights and is open until 9:00 PM.  See the Resources page for details and list of other dog parks open later.

2.  Street Closure Sunday

This Sunday, Nov 5, the 2700 block of S. Oakland Street, which leads to the dog park, will be closed to all traffic from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM to accommodate the Valley Fest event.  Street parking in the area will be very restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222.  For additional event information, visit their website.  Expect large crowds and traffic around the area.  If you do come please be advised that NO food or alcohol is allowed in the dog park at any time.

3.  New Trees   

Two new crape myrtle trees were recently planted in the dog park.  I have placed chicken wire around them to give the trees the best chance to survive.  If possible please try to keep your dogs away from them for now.  They should provide not only shade but a wonderful bloom as well soon.

4.  Rabies     

There was a report recently about rabid raccoons found in the county.  Now is a good time to check to make sure your pets’ vaccinations are up to date.  All dogs entering the dog park MUST have current rabies vaccination tags as well as their dog license tags on them.

Results From Fall Fundraising

Thanks to all who made donations during our Fall fundraising on October 14 and 15.  We beat the goal by almost 50% and raised $4,403.  All monies raised go to purchasing the poop bags and other supplies necessary to maintain the dog park and keep it the wonderful destination for dogs and their humans.  We sold out of the dog park magnets but we will have more available before our next fundraising weekend.  Also thank you to those who helped with the clean-up and a special thanks to James Warmack, Jennifer Agabin and Carlton Willis who were spreading the mulch around the trees and Tina Worden and her son Tommy who led the clean-up effort.  You can say thanks by picking up after your dog as well as picking up trash or other poop every time you visit the park.  Our goal is to make the Shirlington Dog Park as clean as possible to show how dedicated the park users are in wanting to keep it as the best dog park in the area.

Dog Park Committee Report

The Dog Park Committee of the Four Mile Run Initiative Working Group has finalized their report. It is posted on the Project web site.  The committee will present the report at the next Working Group meeting on Monday, September 18, at the Park and Natural Resources Building, 2700 S. Taylor St.  Meetings are from 7:00 to 10:00 PM with public comment time around 9:15.  The main take away from the report is that while there are environmental concerns with the area the dog park is situated on, there are no recommendations to decrease the size or change the configuration of the park.  The recommendations suggested will actually greatly improve the park overall and also help with addressing the environmental impact.    

Welcome to Our New Site

As the official site for the Shirlington Dog Park sponsoring group we hope to provide important information regarding the dog park including upcoming events, park conditions and how you can help keep the dog park as a clean, safe and enjoyable place for you and your dogs.  Check out the various pages and keep coming back as we continue to add more content.  Thank you.  Arf.