Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

City may create swimming pond in dog park

April 10, 2012


The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has begun studying ways to improve the city’s off-leash dog park below Clinton Lake Dam, and department leaders said building a canine swimming pond is high on their list.

Department leaders told the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on Tuesday that a recent survey of dog-park users indicated providing easier access to the water was an important item for dog owners.

Many users of the park have been taking their dogs to a small waterfall area on the Wakarusa River that is adjacent to the park. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has expressed concern about the practice. The Corps of Engineers owns the property below the Clinton Lake Dam but leases much of it to the city of Lawrence.

But Mark Hecker, the city’s parks superintendent, said there does appear to be an opportunity to build a small pond along one of the drainage ways that travels through the dog park.

“How large it can be is still something we need to discuss, but it could be around a quarter of an acre,” Hecker said.

Plans for the pond would need to win approval from the Corps of Engineers, and the city would need to finalize its funding source for the improvements.

The survey of dog park users also has parks and recreation leaders considering several other improvements to the approximately 80 acre park. They include:

• Improved markings for trails;

• A dog wash station;

• Small fenced area of about a half-acre that would allow dog owners a place to run their dogs without worrying they will escape into the countryside.

Hecker said some of the work to improve trails would likely begin soon, while other improvements would not begin until later this summer.


thuja 2 years ago

I love the smell of wet dogs in the morning.


workinghard 2 years ago

I just wish I could convince some of my neighbors that my yard is a not a dog park. Seriously, who opens someone's gate to their back yard to let their dog in and let's them use it as a toilet? They do it to my neighbors as well.


tanaumaga 2 years ago

The Lawrence off the leash dog park is head and shoulders above what other parks can provide ....Let's be happy with what we have and appropriate money elsewhere. We have a dog, we love our dog, and we don't expect everyone else to embrace we do it by ourselves.


love2bike 2 years ago

Great idea! Really like the proposal for a swimming pool and a dog wash area. My dog is my companion and the park is one of the few places we can go together. Thanks!


pace 2 years ago

I don't mind a good dog park, I hope the pool helps. I don't mind the skate board park, kids should have places to play, play grounds, flower bed, walking trails, trees, make sense to me. As a community we are better for them. I don't want a dog and god save me if I get on a skate board.


FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

Why spend all the extra time and "money" for a dog pool when the pool downtown has people "voiding" and "defecating" in it already? Mutts would "love" compete for the attention.


patkindle 2 years ago

just got my property tax bill today glad to see the money is going for a good cause they sure dont spent it on anything worthwhile anyway


johnwoods 2 years ago

I love dogs, and have only owned dogs as pets. But, I think the city has spent enough by offering what is currently available. Owning a pet is a personal choice and the cost of owning a pet should not be funded by the city. This is way different than offering recreational services for human citizens.


jonas_opines 2 years ago

I am a little confused as to why that pool isn't sufficient, even if it's owned by the Corps.

I do miss the Lawrence Dog Park, one of the best in the nation, I think. All the dog parks here in Wilmington NC are just 100-200 foot square fenced in sections, and it doesn't seem to work very well, it seems to make the dogs more pent up and aggressive. Thankfully, there's a couple other places that the dog can be off leash and run around to burn his vast energy.


costello 2 years ago

"Many users of the park have been taking their dogs to a small waterfall area on the Wakarusa River that is adjacent to the park. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has expressed concern about the practice. The Corps of Engineers owns the property below the Clinton Lake Dam but leases much of it to the city of Lawrence."

So, that waterfall area isn't actually in the park? I didn't realize that. I've taken my dog there a few times.

I'm curious as to why the Corps of Engineers is concerned about it.


Gotland 2 years ago

Tax payers should not be paying for dog recreation. It would waste money and bring more dogs down town. Leave your animals at home.


Andini 2 years ago

I support this if only the city will build something for cats too. They have rights too.


CWGOKU 2 years ago

I love my dogs, but this sounds like a breeding ground for skeeters and ticks. And a place for underage drunks to fall in and drown.


rockchalker52 2 years ago

I agree with KRichards. And my dog isn't aggressive. She's just excitable. Girls just wanna have fun. A fenced area would be really cool. And you can use my tax dollars if you want. Everybody always grousing about their tax dollars. Taxes ain't going down folks. Might as well get some actual nuts & bolts improvement out of 'em once in a while.


KU_cynic 2 years ago

This sounds like a wonderful opportunity for the private beneficiaries of this proposed pet amenity to raise the funds for this project. I certainly don't want any tax dollars going to it.


friendlyjhawk 2 years ago

Honestly, we are saying that homes/trailers aren't fit for habitation but we are thinking of dog park with a swimming pool for dogs? Goody, spend my money that way and don't help PEOPLE? I love dogs, I can bathe mine at home, excerise them at home, and don't have to worry about all those who don't vaccinate and are sure their dogs would never hurt anyone or another dog. What a phony town we are. Dogs first, send all others that aren't up to our standards out of sight and out of town!


bobberboy 2 years ago

make it a flea and tick dip.


FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

My mutt uses the "swamp" south of town. The bugs get rid of the dog waste.


slvrntrt 2 years ago

Dogs that do not come when called do not belong in uncontrolled situations with other uncontrolled dogs. Also known as dog parks. No fences!

The pond idea would be cool, but if it's done in such a way that the water is changed out by the current or filtered/cleaned some other way.


DA86 2 years ago

I would love to see a fenced area at the dog park. There really isn't anywhere in Lawrence that is good for dogs that are less than obedient to run around without a leash.


gccs14r 2 years ago

I would bet that it is designed to have a net flow of water through it so it doesn't stagnate, and it will probably be lined so that it's not just a mudhole. Slope it from grade down to 2.5-3', with a short curb most of the way around, line it, and cover the lining with smooth gravel. It should stay fairly clean.


2 years ago

What a breeding ground for illness and pests. This is a bad idea.


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