Letters to the Editor

Letter: Levee park

January 28, 2014


To the editor:

This letter is to the people who walk their dog(s) on the Kansas River levee in North Lawrence.

The levee is a City of Lawrence park, and the same rules apply as any other city park that is not a designated dog park. Dogs must be leashed, and the owners are responsible for picking up their dogs’ waste. Please don’t think that picking up the waste in a plastic bag and then leaving the bag on the levee fulfills your responsibility to comply with the ordinance. I’m not sure who you think will pick up the bag and dispose of it.

I would also like to extend the thanks of our neighborhood and its residents to those who do follow the rules. We appreciate it very much.


Brock Masters 3 years, 12 months ago

I don't get the people who think it is alright to allow their dogs to be off leash in public. It isn't. Control your dog.

Beator 3 years, 12 months ago

Most people I know, treat their Dogs as family members. They spend big money on grooming, food and medical care. Why would you let them defecate on the Levee with out cleaning up after them? You wouldn't approve your child or your grandma to do this with out cleaning up after them? Would you?

Cille King 3 years, 12 months ago

Unfortunately, the less-than-socially-responsibly-aware who don't pick up after their dogs on the levee, probably don't read the paper either. And those who don't pick up after their dogs on the levee, also don't pick up after their dogs through neighborhoods. I've lost track after counting 100 piles of dog poo that I've picked up (I no longer own a dog), several of which I didn't notice until I stepped in it.

Leslie Swearingen 3 years, 11 months ago

This is a game called Doggie Poo. You really have to watch it.

Dog feces plays a significant role in water pollution,[1] especially in cities, and the bacteria that makes its way into streams, lakes and the water table can make people sick. Indeed, a single gram of dog feces can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria that can cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal disorders and kidney problems.[2] In 1991, the EPA even designated dog poop as a "nonpoint source of pollution" putting it right up there with oil and toxic chemicals.


As I do not have a dog, I did not know this. I always like to do research on things to try and get good information. My guess is that the levee doesn't look like a park, at least it doesn't to me, I thought it was just a path by the rivier. Regardless, people should clean up after both themselves and their dogs.

Lawrence Morgan 3 years, 11 months ago

Leslie, thanks especially for your comments. Parks come in all shapes and sizes - in San Francisco, some parks are only a few cars wide. Other parks - like Golden Gate Park, are only a few blocks wide but more than 40 blocks long. I'm going to be doing a blog later on all the fascinating people I've met in parks in various parts of the country.

You are right, though. Some people don't realize that the levee is a park in its own right, and it's a wonderful part of Lawrence. Parks serve many different purposes - from relaxation from the day's activities to exercise and wanting to watch nature even in a city setting.

Dogs must be kept on a leash and they must be cleaned up afterwards. Some people think that their dog is "special" - and when it poops, they can just go on with the dog, and not pick it up. But at least, in San Francisco, that has changed. People can and do get charged large fines for dog poo - both in parks and on sidewalks, and the result is that sidewalks and parks are much cleaner than they used to be. I don't recommend charging a large fee in Lawrence, but there need to be more signs, in every park, which indicate that dogs need to be kept on a leash and owners need to clean up after their dog.

There are other reasons, too, for keeping dogs on leashes - what if, for example, an older person who enjoys the park stumbles or falls over because a large dog isn't leashed. I've certainly seen that in San Francisco - the dog runs after another dog, and a person is in the way, and falls.

Parks are wonderful places - and it is fine for dogs, too, to enjoy them but owners MUST keep their dog on a leash. And, as you comment, dog feces are not wonderful to step in or otherwise come into contact with.

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