Can you hear the rumble? The ground and trees shaking? The clickety clack of paws and feet?
That would be SWCDP members rushing to their dog park. We are all so excited to be back. And as an extra “good thing” – Mother Nature topped off our Re-Opening days with wonderful warm and sunny weather. Lets’ play!
Phase One Progress
*Work to be done during regular Tuesday Maintenance closing, 8am to Noon (no extended closing)
Our returning, temporary shelter will be relocated this year to the back of the Main dog park. It will be set up in the area in which we encourage our members to spend a good chunk of their visit.
Benches and picnic tables will be strategically placed in the back and front areas of Main and throughout Alternate. While we are not placing furniture in the mid-section – that area is wide open – plenty of space for chasing ball, frisbees, and canine friends.
SWCDP continues to work closely with TruGreen; we have an overall plan but remain flexible to adjust and/or add treatments, as needed. We also will utilize Hilltop Landscape for a longer grass cutting period this year – cut as needed. Previous years, we were down to dirt by late September. And, we have delayed Hydro Dynamics annual irrigation shut down so that we may continue to water our turf. System is now scheduled for winterization on November 10.
SWCDP established a rain closing policy several years ago. Admittedly, in our efforts to keep the dog park open as much as possible we seldom enforced the policy. We have learned that rainfall does not deter members from using the dog park. Some come even during a light rain or mist – and definitely many come just as soon as the rain stops. So – going forward – given the new Turf Renovation program and extraordinary efforts – to improve the sustainability of our turf – we plan to enforce the rain closings more aggressively.
No – we will not close the dog park for every rain period – ONLY after lengthy or heavy rain periods. When the turf is squishy or soft due to an overabundance of water sitting at the surface – SWCDP will temporarily close until it dries out. Emphasis put on “until it dries out” – not – when it stops raining. Other dog parks do this – so must SWCDP.
After a significant rainfall, members should check the SWCDP Hotline to know the open-close status. When dog park is closed – member FOBs will be de-activated.
Recommend members keep this number in cell phone. Call before coming to dog park after any rainfall just to be sure we are open. We will not send an email for rain closures – it is up to each member to check on the status on their own.
HANG OUT ON STRONGEST TURF AREAS
Main Dog Park The back third has the strongest turf – a combination of new turf and left-over mature turf in agility area. FYI, agility fence was taken down temporarily because agility course is closed this year due to Covid-19 guidelines. Partial areas in the front third are pretty decent, too. The middle section is our most fragile turf. Alternate Dog Park Overall entire area is in great shape….but you still need to move around so not to turn the grass to mud.
2-Leggeds & 4-Leggeds staying in one area for entire/most of dog park visit is detrimental to our turf. Moving around is a good thing – gives your pooch more things to check out, new smells, different dog and human interaction. Walking is great for our humans, too. But we recognize that many members just want to kick back and enjoy watching the play from a bench. That’s OK, too. SWCDP has you covered. That is why SWCDP provides plenty of benches and picnic tables. We just ask that you use more than one during your visit – so that your group of pals will move with you – giving each turf area a chance to catch its breadth.
Sometimes we get so carried away with having fun – or engrossed in a conversation – that time flies! And – we don’t realize we have been in the same place for an hour or longer. So, help us protect our turf by reminding members to move once in awhile. In a nice way, of course. Better yet – just take them with you as walk or change benches, etc.
We considered a temp fence around vulnerable areas in Gangway but decided to leave it open so not to interfere with our Covid-19 safety guidelines…keeping the arrival and departure lanes open. We also know that compacting too many dogs and humans in a narrower Gangway creates greater chance for problems (dog piling on in close quarters).
Eyes Wide Open. Even with progress, we are prepared for two steps forward, one step back. We have, after all, very young, tender grass. Inevitably, some areas will get worn thin – no matter what we do to prevent it. The nature of a robust dog park! We will keep building from the 2020 foundational turf – and with the huge reduction of weeds – we expect to see continued improvements as our new turf matures.
THINK ABOUT OUR FUTURE AMENITIES
As you enjoy the return to our playground and move your personal life through the fast approaching holiday season – please be thinking about what features you would like to see in our proposed permanent climbing maze. We will ask for member input in Jan-Feb and then begin the final design and fundraising. We are going to need lots of support to make this a reality…. We already know the new play area will be an enormous hit with both 2-Leggeds and 4-Leggeds.
As the members are playing on the maze – a lot of foot and paw traffic will be diverted from our turf. A very good thing,