FIDO Fest Huge Hit; Permanent Dog Park In The Works
Oak Cliff may be one step closer to having a permanent dog park. Catherine Dodge of FIDO Oak Cliff said FIDO Fest was a huge success with a great turnout. The organization collected OC residents’ feedback on a potential permanent dog park via a survey handed out at the event this past Saturday.
“We took 60 paper copies and ran out!” Dodge said. “Overall, I think we had about 100 people attend.”
The survey also went out through Winnetka Heights’ website and will be distributed to FIDO OC “likers” and other Oak Cliff neighborhoods.
“We were testing this spot as a permanent dog-park location, hence wanting neighborhood support and conducting surveys,” Dodge said. “Council members Delia Jasso and Scott Griggs are very supportive. They just want community support. Winnetka Heights already does regular maintenance and clean-up days at the site. Winnetka also has a lot of dog lovers and are very excited it may be our first dog park!”
The pooch party was held on city land at Jefferson Boulevard and Twelfth at the Clinton connector. This “pocket park,” as Dodge called it, has water, a sprinkler system, trees, and seating already in place. Dodge said she would like to make this space the park’s permanent home, and since the land is owned by the city and not the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, the requirements are less stringent.
Dodge said that the Park and Recreation Department has strict guidelines for dog parks, such as a mandate of 5 acres and a significant amount of parking.
“Councilwoman Delia Jasso told us how these stringent requirements do not apply to land owned by the city of Dallas,” Dodge said. “And she encouraged us to check out these un-utilized spaces throughout our area as potential permanent sites. This area was so much better than the first one, which didn’t have water. Saturday’s space would be a quicker ‘win,’ as funds would only need to be raised for fencing and not a whole lot else — dropping water meters and sprinklers gets expensive.”
The area is in Winnetka Heights, which is in Griggs’ district. Dodge said the neighborhood is “extremely supportive,” and they helped sponsor Saturday’s pooch-fest — providing volunteers and helping plan the event.
“Having the extra volunteers and great communication within the neighborhood was a big help,” Dodge said.
And, the fun wasn’y only for the pups. Juicy hamburgers were for sale, as well as FIDO OC T-shirts. Petropolitan owner Chris Watts, who lives in Winnetka Heights, had an impressive presence with two tents and a number of tables offering up canine products.
Green Pet owner Leslie McKay was also on the scene, handing out coupons and free dog treats. And Stephanie Gonzalez, owner of Skin & Body Solutions Day Spa in the Bishop Arts District was dishing out chair massages — donating all proceeds to FIDO. Kathi Kibbel, an animal communicator whom we wrote an article on earlier this year, was also on hand. Angie’s Frieds and another animal-rescue group were also there offering adoptions.
“So it was more than just a pop-up dog park,” Dodge said. “It was a full-out FIDO Fest.”
Let us know what you think? Is this a good spot for Oak Cliff’s permanent dog park?