Friday, September 4, 2009

S and T Street Parks Open to Dogs and Humans

Yesterday, Sept. 3, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Acting Director Ximena Hartsock, ANC Commissioners, and other community leaders joined Ward 2 residents, park lovers, and dog owners for ribbon-cutting and leash-cutting ceremonies to celebrate the completion and the opening of the new parks at S and T Streets, NW.

"The ribbon and leash cutting ceremonies represents the first simultaneous opening of a people park and a dog park in the District," said Mayor Fenty. "After much anticipation, residents and pets in the community now have a safe, healthy environment to enjoy."

Renovations at the two parks, located along New Hampshire Avenue and 17th Street, NW, between S and T Streets, NW, began in Feb of this year. DPR's newest off-leash public dog park is located at the S Street Park, and an improved park and plaza can now be found at the T Street Park. The S Street Park dog park is a new 5,600 square foot off-leash dog park, and will be maintained by a partnership between DPR and Circle Dogs, the sponsoring community organization. Hours of operation for the dog park are Monday to Friday, 7 am to 8 pm; and Saturday to Sunday, 8 am to 8 pm. This is the third public off-leash dog park project completed by DPR. Metal sculptures by local artist Robert Cole have also returned to the parks.

"The Department of Parks and Recreation is excited to open the new S Street Dog Park and the new T Street Park," said DPR Acting Director Hartsock. "These parks are opening today with great support from the neighborhood."

The S Street Dog Park features an artificial grass surface designed specifically for dogs, ornamental fencing, entrances on both New Hampshire Avenue and 17th Street, seating areas, and a water fountain for dogs. Existing cherry trees in the park were preserved, and a new plaza was constructed at the corner of S Street and New Hampshire Avenue. The artificial grass being used for the dog park is K9Grass, which is the only artificial grass, designed specifically for dogs. The grass drains well, is able to withstand wear and tear, is easy to maintain, and the knitted structure of K9Grass helps wick away urine for a cleaner facility. In addition, the grass blades are coated with an antimicrobial product which helps fight odors and creates a safer, cleaner environment for the dogs.

Use of all of DPR's dog parks are free, but each dog must have a valid DC dog license and have a DC dog park registration tag. Applications for the DC dog park registration tag are available in the "Dog Parks" section of DPR's website,

At the T Street Park, the main feature of the renovations is the preservation of one of the oldest swamp oak trees in the District. To protect the tree roots, much of the park was landscaped with small plants to provide year-round visual interest, and a plaza was constructed near the intersection of 17th Street and New Hampshire Avenue. The Friends of S and T Street Parks will also maintain a colorful planting bed at the southern tip of the triangle park.

After the ribbon and leash cutting, the DC Department of Health (DOH) offered free dog and cat vaccinations, and pet owners were able to have their pets vaccinated against rabies and DHLPP (distemper, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza viruses) free of charge. Also joining the event was the Washington Humane Society, offering dog adoptions to the public.

Photo courtesy of Commissioner Phil Carney