All Good Things Must End

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Takoma Park has over 4,250 dogs. Yet at least three citizen requests to build a park for humans with canine companions previously failed. So in 2012, Joe Edgell and Dr. Barbara Muhlbacher started an effort to raise community awareness of the need for an off-leash park, and spur the City Council and City Manager to act and build one (TakomaDogs incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2014).

Creation of the Takoma Park Dog Park is a lesson in citizen activism. Over 1500 people signed the petition to create the dog park (over 1200 at the time of our City Council presentation), overcoming a handful of NIMBY opponents who did not want a city for all communities, including those who’ve rescued canine companions. A core groups of supporters organized and pushed City Council and staff to build the dog park, and after nearly five years of effort, we were successful! Takoma Park now has it’s first and only dog park, opened on April 2, 2017.

TakomaDogs founders Dr. Barbara Muhlbacher & Joe Edgell

TakomaDogs founders Dr. Barbara Muhlbacher & Joe Edgell

With dog park creation, interest in TakomaDogs has wained. With its founders moving to the Puget Sound area, there is no one to keep the organization active. So it is with a mix of sadness and pride that we are closing down the website and terminating the 501(c)(3) status of TakomaDogs. On June 29, 2019, the website will expire and TakomaDogs will cease to exist.

Anyone interested in buying the website and domain name should reach out to Joe here. Historic Takoma is receiving an archive of the website, the banner, a TakomaDogs t-shirt, and our City Council presentation so this effort is preserved for posterity sake.

Visit the dog park at this location.

Woof!

Reminder: Sign Up for 4th of July Parade (Meet at 9:30)

Don't forget TakomaDogs has a float in this year's Takoma Park 4th of July Parade to celebrate the opening of the dog park and we want YOU to join us.

We're meeting on South Manor Circle near the intersection of South Manor Circle & Carroll Avenue. We're assembling at 9:30 a.m. for the 10:00 parade start on July 4.

So we can get an estimate of how many people are walking with us, please sign up here or in the form, below.

Weather for the parade should be seasonable for this time of year.  Please bring a bottle of water for you and your pooch. We'll try to tweet more info on the weather as we get closer, so follow the TakomaDogs Twitter feed.

We want everyone to come out and celebrate the opening of the dog park with us whether you have a dog or not. Bring your kids, your friends, your parents, or anyone else. Never walked in the parade, now's your chance! You do NOT need a dog to walk with us.

This year we'll be joined by candidate for Ward 2 City Council Joe Edgell. Take the opportunity to share your thoughts on Ward 2 issues with Joe.

Do you plan to walk in the Takoma Park 4th of July Parade with TakomaDogs? *
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Please type a cell phone number for last-minute updates
Please type a cell phone number for last-minute updates
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July 4 Parade Float Coming Along Nicely!

This year's 4th of July float. What is it?

Can you guess what it is?

Work is proceeding nicely on this year's 4th of July Parade Float. But we need your committment to come walk with TakomaDogs or all this effort will be for nothing.

Sign up here to let us know you're coming.

Bring your dog, your kids, you spouse, parents, or friends. Dog not required. We need people!  

Dog Park Grand Opening Set for 1:30 p.m., April 2!

The City announced today a dog park grand opening date! Plan to be at the dog park on Sunday, April 2 at 1:30 pm. Bring your dog, your kids, your cat, but come and celebrate with us!

Meet at the dog park, which is located at the top of Takoma-Piney Branch Park at the end of the parking lot on Darwin Avenue. On Google Maps the address comes out at 198 Darwin Ave. Click here for a map. Apple Maps doesn't handle the address properly, so plug in 14 Darwin Ave. into your iPhone, then drive past the address into the parking lot.

Bring your dog, wear your TakomaDogs t-shirt (outside your coat if it's cold!), and feel free to bring colorful, parade-worthy paraphernalia and noise makers. Don't have a dog? Still come out and celebrate this new awesome community resource.

Anticipated Opening by April 2

In recent communications with the City, they mentioned that they are anticipating that work will be completed by the end of March. We are hopeful that we can have a grand opening soon thereafter.

We requested that the City consider a grand opening date of Sunday, April 2. Please block it off on your calendars in the hopes that this will be the official date. And please check back with the website to get confirmation on the opening date.

Mark Your Calendars for Grand Opening!

The City and TakomaDogs met this week to discuss many things, including a tentative date for the grand opening ceremony. The ceremony is currently set for Sunday, January 29 at 2:00 p.m.

We will meet in the parking lot behind the Takoma Park Community Center at 7500 Maple Avenue in Takoma Park with our dogs and City officials. We plan to have a dog parade the short distance between the Community Center rear parking lot and the new dog park. We're meeting in the rear parking lot, not the front lot.

Bring your dog, wear your TakomaDogs t-shirt (outside your coat because it's likely to be cold!), and feel free to bring colorful, parade-worthy paraphernalia and noise makers. Don't have a dog? Still come out and celebrate this new awesome community resource.

Should the weather be awful, there is a backup date of Sunday, February 5. The date could also slip due to construction delays.

 

Dog Park Construction Starts Thursday!

Miracle of miracles!

The City Manager announced at tonight's City Council meeting that work will start on Takoma Park's first dog park tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 8:00 a.m.! This is great news. We were beginning to think this would never happen.

Just two weeks ago the Mayor approached us about potentially sponsoring a public demonstration at the County Parks department since County Parks was dragging its feet on giving us a signed access agreement, even though we received word that it was being approved. Now, just two weeks later, construction will start. A kudos to the City for moving this along.

Several supporters asked if the City was doing a groundbreaking ceremony. The City decided not to do a groundbreaking ceremony because they didn't want to delay the construction start once they received the access agreement. The City is using an existing contract to have the park built rather than competing a new contract, so they can start very quickly simply by giving the existing contractor notice to proceed. The City expects construction to take about 45 days. If the weather cooperates, we'll have a dog park open by the end of the year.

City staff will coordinate with Takoma Dogs on a formal grand opening ceremony. We will post details here and encourage everyone to come and enjoy this momentous day for you and your four-legged companions!

Dog Park Receives All Necessary County Permits

Good news dog park supporters!

image courtesy jaykubassek.com

image courtesy jaykubassek.com

When former City Manager Brian Kenner chose the dog park location from our list of suggested locations, he chose because the site would require no county approvals as it was City property, even though the site itself was expensive to develop. That meant things could move along lickety-split. But more than two years later we were still waiting on........ County permits!

But tonight faithful supporters, current City Manager Suzie Ludlow announced at the City Council meeting that the City had obtained the last of the required permits, this being an access agreement to use the County-owned parking lot to access the City dog park. This means there are no more obstacles to beginning dog park construction!

She also mentioned that a pre-construction meeting is set between City staff and the City's contractor for September 20.  Further, she mentioned that the construction should take about 45 days to complete, once they break ground. What she did not mention, however, was a planned ground-breaking date. Stay tuned for the date, which we'll post as soon as we find out.

Ward 2 Council Member Tim Male echoed prior TakomaDogs sentiment that there should be a formal ground-breaking ceremony. I expect that the City will take that to heart and announce something soon. We hope to participate in the ceremony and encourage you to attend.

With any luck, we might even see a dog park by the end of 2016.

 

4th of July Parade Photos

TakomaDogs Board Member Barbara Muhlbacher, creator of this year's float. Photo courtesy Linette Lander.

Nature smiled on us this year, holding off the rain so the Takoma Park 4th of July Parade could finish before the deluge started. We had a great turnout this year for the parade. Thanks to everyone who joined us this year to walk. This is your dog park we're fighting for!

As you saw, this year TakomaDogs Board Member Barbara Muhlbacher built a great float called "Takoma Park's Only Dog Park." While it's sad that the only dog park in the City is a 4 feet by 8 feet sheet of plywood, we definitely brought attention to the continuing lack of a dog park.

You can check out the photos of the parade in our parade photo gallery. If you have photos and would like to share them, please email them to pbm+takomadogs+cycytg@squarespace.com where they will be automatically added to our photo gallery.

4th of July Parade Update

TakomaDogs and all our supporters are still planning to walk in tomorrow's 4th of July Parade. We're meeting at 203 Manor Circle at 9:45 a.m. for a 10:00 planned start. Look for the big dog float.

The parade will happen if there's light rain, as it did last year, and we hope you'll join us. Should there be crazy heavy rain, the parade organizers will decide by 7:00 a.m. whether the parade will be cancelled. If it is cancelled, we will post an update about 7:30 a.m. to the blog at takomadogs.org.

WeatherUnderground is only forecasting a 20% chance of rain at parade start time, so hopefully the parade will go off without a hitch! Again, check the blog at about 7:30 a.m. to see if we're still walking.

Remember, please walk with us whether or not you have a dog. We need a large group of people to show support, handout flyers, and wave to the awesome crowd. So please join us for the Takoma Park 4th of July Parade.

Construct TakomaDogs Parade Float

Last year's Kinetic Sculptures float. This year we're using the dog head to make our own mini dog park.

Last year's Kinetic Sculptures float. This year we're using the dog head to make our own mini dog park.

We're building our own TakomaDogs float for this year's Takoma Park 4th of July Parade and need your help. Last year we walked with Kinetic Sculptures moving dog. They've donated the dog's head to us this year, so we're taking it and building a mini-dog park with it that we'll be pulling in the parade.

Are you creative? Have carpentry skills? Enthusiasm? Just want to help out? Then we can use your assistance. The float effort will be coordinated this year by TakomaDogs Board Member Barbara Muhlbacher. Please contact her via email or at 360-561-6320 if you'd like to help out.

The Main Reason I Got Involved in the Dog Park

My name is Eric Saul and I am the architect of the proposed Dog Park in Takoma Park.  I’ve been involved with Joe Edgell and Takoma Dogs for almost 2 years now. I’ve spent over 100 hours of pro-bono time working with Joe, The City Manger and staff, and various civil engineers to create a much needed space for residents of Takoma Park. I’ve even walked in the 4th of July parade with many dog-owners and volunteers....

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Join TakomaDogs for TP's 4th of July Parade!

Got kids? Got a dog? Got legs or a wheelchair? Then come walk with TakomaDogs this year in the Takoma Park 4th of July parade. All well-behaved people and dogs are welcome! Sign up to participate in the parade by visiting this link.

We will meet at 9:45am in the Division 2 staging area on Manor Circle in the first block off Carroll Avenue.  Look for the Takoma Dogs banner.  Bring water for yourself, your family, and your dog, sunscreen, hat, and possibly an umbrella to provide shade for your pooch.  There will be a porta-potty near the picnic area in Takoma Junction for human parade participants to use.  

You are welcome to come by yourself or with your dog. If you bring a dog, please also bring some poop bags.

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