A group of residents in Brooadmoor have worked hard through two years of planning to collectively develop a plan for their own neighborhood dog park, collaborated with the neighborhood organizations, gathered the necessary resources, and are now working with the city to make it a reality. Below is an interview with Dogmoor leaders Duffy Voigt and Maggie Carrol.
Who came up with the Dogmoor idea and why?
The original broad concept of a dogpark to serve the Broadmoor neighborhood came from the community-driven planning efforts of early 2006. In the Broadmoor Redevelopment Plan, residents identified the importance of pets in the family and community as it relates to uses of park space for a dog park and the need to foster responsible pet ownership. Duff Voigt, a Broadmoor home owner who had just moved to the neighborhood weeks before Katrina, coined the “Dogmoor” term and spearheaded the work of the Dogmoor Committee. After having moved to the French Quarter temporarily while his house was being renovated, he had the opportunity to take advantage of the unofficial Cabrini Dog Park and wanted to see that experience come home to Broadmoor. The dog park provided an excellent resource for collecting and sharing neighborhood information, dog training, and community building. It also got the dogs far more tired than just walking them would have, and gave instant dog socialization that urban dogs often lack. When he expressed his desire to bring a dogpark to Broadmoor, several community members joined him and began working as a committee to make Dogmoor a reality.
How did you work with the neighbors and the neighborhood group to make the dog park a reality?
We’re still in the process of getting the dog park to reality. We are currently coalition building to get surrounding businesses and communities on board with the park. The park obviously presents several major benefits to all involved, and we anticipate this will be the easiest part of the process. Between the increased commercial traffic and public safety improvements of having people in a commercial/light industrial zoned area, the dog park seems a no-brainer.
What online collaborative tools would have helped in the organization process?
Email has been a large part of the planning process. We have also have made limited use of Google Docs in order to share documents amongst committee members. The website will also likely provide a way to issue announcements to park users as well as solicit donations for its maintenance.
Why does this benefit New Orleans and are there any other specific areas of the city that you can think of where dog parks would be welcomed by the neighbors?
An officially sanctioned dog park would finally lend legitimacy to the dog park movement within the city. There are several unofficial dog parks around the city that have evolved through custom. However, having the dogs off-leash in these parks is technically illegal, and they are always under the threat of being closed down by city officials. They provide a community gathering place, get people on the street with their dogs, and promote responsible dog ownership.
Every neighborhood in New Orleans could use a dog park, but the existing “maverick” parks at Colosseum Square, Markey Park, Cabrini Park, and the Audubon river front could use some infrastructure improvement (or creation) and official city recognition and support.
Find our more about Dogmoor. Maybe the Dogmoor committee can show the NOLAguys, who used Policypitch to pitch an idea to build a dog park in the warehouse district, how its done!