Ever since moving to Northside Richmond,  Elaine and I, and our dog Dewey,  have really missed what used to be a daily trip to the dog park on Forest Hill Ave. Soon after we moved here, I began  asking around to see if  there were any plans to build a dog park in the area. There had been some discussion about a dog park on our community listserv, but that forum trail had run cold. So I created my own post, in the hopes of reviving interest. So many people in Northside own dogs.  I knew a significant number of them would support this idea.

That was nearly nine months ago. Since then, I’ve been working with a small group of committed dog owners in the Northside community and with employees of the Richmond City Parks & Recreation Department (shout out to Larry & Mary Lois) to make this dog park a reality. Together we’ve identified a great location–a grassy, wooded area across the parking lot from Pine Camp Arts Center–and have applied for and been approved to be a partner of the Richmond Recreation & Parks Foundation. This gives us 501(c)3 nonprofit status and makes it easier to raise funds. After an orientation meeting with a member of the Foundation,  we’ll be ready to go out and promote our park plans, recruit volunteers,  and solicit financial help.

Our hope is the break ground in spring and open the park in late summer. The City Parks Department has been incredibly supportive, and is contributing significantly to the project. Stay tuned here as we move forward. If you want to know more, check out our Ning site: http://northsidedogpark.ning.com/. To become a member of our group, you’ll need to create a Ning account (it’s free) and then submit a request to join our group.

Update: You can now follow the progress of Northside Dog Park on Twitter. We’re @northrvadogpark