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. 


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