Self Sustaining Dog Park Headed To Riverside

September 5, 2011 55 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Through an in-kind donation from the Haskell Company and Riverside Avondale Preservation's support, a two-acre dog park could replace a forgotten piece of property under I-95 near the Annie Lytle School.

From Un-Used Storage Lot to Community Resource

The Riverside Dog Park is a two-acre, off-leash dog park currently being planned for the northwest corner of Riverside Park, adjacent to College Street. Approximately one-third of the property, under the Interstate 95 overpass, would be re-purposed from a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) storage lot and added to the existing lands of Riverside Park. Through an in-kind donation from the Haskell Company, and with RAP’s support, a committee has met regularly with a landscape architect to develop a draft plan for the park

Key Features Of The Riverside Dog Park

- One-and-a-quarter acre large/active-breed area. The active area will feature decomposed granite ground cover, an eighth of a mile walking path and a shade pavilion.

- Quarter-acre small/passive-breed area featuring significant old-growth tree coverage and bench seating.

- Ample on-street parallel parking will be created along with one dedicated handicapped-accessible parking space, adjacent to the existing JEA substation.

- Double-gated entries for both pet areas accessible by keyfobs.

- A new sidewalk that will connect Park and College Streets – serving as a neighborhood connector.

- Dog Park will extend north to Annie Lyttle School property line, hopefully renewing interest in the rehabilitation of this historic building.

A Demonstration of Low Impact Development (LID)

The park will serve as a demonstration of low-impact development that protects the St Johns River, located a quarter-mile to the east. As the park is constructed, an active effort will be made to recycle removed materials, particularly concrete, and to use recycled materials wherever possible. The active area of the park will house a bio-retention pond, featuring natural grasses and plant life that filters any park runoff before it reaches the river. Existing foliage will be preserved to the extent possible, and new plants and grasses native to the Northeast Florida region will be incorporated. Educational signage will be posted to help inform the public about this aspect of the project.

A Self-Sustaining Community Resource

A portion of the dog park will utilize this forgotten space under I-95.

As planned, residents will access the park via a key fob access system through the main entrance off the east side of College Street. Residents will be able to purchase a key fob at various local retailers for a nominal fee (e.g. $25/year), and funds raised through the sale of the fobs will be dedicated to park repair, maintenance, and neighborhood preservation.

Project Campaign and Timeline for Completion

RAP and other community supporters of the Riverside Dog Park expect to begin a fundraising campaign this fall and hope to have funding, City support and necessary land leases completed in the late fall or early spring. Construction is expected to take up to two months. Opening day is slated for late spring or early summer 2012.

How You Can Help

This area of Riverside Park is the site of the proposed dog park.

Purchase a paver. RAP is currently working on a fundraising campaign that will feature ways to honor your loved pets.
Donate to the park. Small donations make a difference as well. Donation jars will be set up at the RAP Booth at Riverside Arts Market and at RAP Headquarters (2623 Herschel Street).

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