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Friends of the Public Garden Apply for Dog Program on the Boston Common

The plan would create four rotating off-lease areas on the Common.

The Friends of the Public Garden have applied to the city to create a rotating off-leash dog recreation space on the Boston Common that would have dog owners fund the upkeep of used areas.

Under the proposal, the Friends would pay $8,000 to reseed the spot near Joy Street now used by dogs and four news spaces – two on Tremont Street and two on Beacon Hill – would be used on a rotating basis with repairs done after every rotation. 

The yearly cost to maintain the areas is expected to be $32,000, raised by the Friends' dog committee. If, however, dog owners fail to fund the program, it will discontinue.

A city ordinance prohibits dogs from being untethered unless they are in a specified off-leash area. But bylaws also prohibit parts of the Common from being fenced off for special uses. The Parks Commission, however, can alter the leash laws.

Under the city's Dog Recreation Ordinance 11-10, a private organization can take financial and operational responsibility for creating and managing a public dog recreation space.

"This ordinance provides the mechanism for the Friends to propose and fund a dog use plan and organize local dog owners to fund and help administer the plan going forward," the Friends said in a post on their website in June.

The Beacon Hill Civic Association voted on Tuesday night not to oppose the plan. 

Ihatefriggindogsinthecity October 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Send the dogs to Korea. Keep them off the Common and out of our parks. Let them shit on their owners' orientals.
K October 11, 2012 at 02:23 PM
This is ridiculous. The common is for everyone. Are we going to make the kids that play soccer and Quidditch pay to reseed where they've played? How about all the running events that have trucks drive over the grass? The one this past weekend trashed the common.
P October 11, 2012 at 03:12 PM
To Ihatefriggindogsinthecity I'd just like to point out that the people proposing this are also the people that are responsible dog owners, not the ones who leave their dogs poop behind. I just wish that this could be an exclusive club, so we could keep out the owners that are irresponsible and have mean dogs... And while I also disagree with the city requiring a private group to pay to reseed just because an animal will be using the space and not a person (need I point out that that common was originally created to allow animals to graze?), I am very excited about the possibility of having an off leash area that is actually nice and safe. If it takes paying to reseed to get it, I guess I'd be willing to contribute. The current off leash area is sketchy at best and lovingly referred to as "crack alley"...
Paul E Keane October 11, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I like the proposal in general. All the dog owners who use the Common are residents. The Common, I think is for the primary use of residents. Organizations who stage public events on the Common create situations that are very damaging to the turf and attract out of town attendees by the thousands. Their right to use needs to include a charge to cover the heavy damage often done. Remember the pumpkins?
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