Dog Parks in Paris? Mais Oui!
One of the funnier things we heard at Wednesday night’s Park and Rec meeting, was “Save Astro Park” anti-dog park activist Jerry Wolfe comparing Lakeview Park to the Eiffel Tower. “Did they,” he bellowed, wagging his finger at the commissioners, “put a dog park at the Eiffel Tower!?” zut alors, they did! Champ de Mars, the park at the Eiffel Tower is available to off-leash dogs. So, too is the Jardins des Tuileries next to the Louvre. The exquisite gardens next to the French Senate building (the Jardins du Luxembourg) also dog-friendly. Parisians love their dogs and the French capital is amazingly welcoming to them and their owners.
In Tuesday’s San Francisco Chronicle, “Save Astro Park” member Sue Levin was quoted as saying, “would you put a dog run at the entrance to Golden Gate Park or Central Park? No.” Sue should have done just a wee bit more research. Golden Gate Park has four designated dog areas (including as you first enter the park from the Haight at Stanyan Street). There are 17 spots across San Francisco. Central Park has 23, and Manhattan has dozens more.
Indeed, just about every major city in North America has a “signature” park – and almost all of them include space for dogs. Even America’s first public park, Boston Common, has a dog park. Boston Common is often described as the “beating heart of Boston,” and is less than one-third the size of the parkland available at Lake Merritt.
Other famous world signature parks with space for dogs: Grant Park in Chicago, Stanley Park in Vancouver, Hyde Park in London, Berlin’s Tiergarten, Griffith Park in Los Angeles, and Balboa Park in San Diego. So, this notion that world-class cities would never have dogs near their special parks or “front yards” is not supported by the facts.
> For more debunked myths, check out our Truth About “Astro Park” page.
> See what your neighbors are saying at our new Community Voices page.