Attendees at the April 1 McKinley Dog Park Advisory Council meeting include, from left in back row, Co-President Angie Robertson,  new member Rachel Brucks, Treasurer Min Huang and Secretary Adriana Perez-Kenning; and in the front row,  active supporter Carolina Trudell, Co-President Carina Trudell and Events Chair Katrina Abarca.

Dog Park Build-Out Slated to Begin This Summer in McKinley Park

Published April 9, 2019

The dog park in McKinley Park is on track for construction in 2019, albeit at a later start date than originally planned, a detail shared at the quarterly meeting of the McKinley Dog Park Advisory Council held on April 1 at One City Tap. The 2019 plans discussed at the meeting dovetail with other changes for the council, now that they will be shepherding a permanent dog-friendly area in the southwest corner of the park adjacent to the swimming pool.

"Although the push back of dates was disappointing, we feel like the park district is being transparent about the process," said council Co-President Angie Robertson. "I promise to stay on top of the issue."

Originally slated to start in the spring, the dog park build-out is now more likely to begin this summer, Robertson said. The process has been handed off to the Planning & Construction Department at the Chicago Park District, she said, with the next steps being a utilities survey and drawing up final, formal construction plans. After that, construction materials are put out for bid.

Dog park council Secretary Adriana Perez-Kenning reported attending the city-wide training session for park advisory councils put on by the Chicago Park District. The workshop provided connections and tips for fund-raising and connecting with the community to generate membership growth, she said.

In particular, the dog park must have a mission larger than the park itself, and the community needs to be reminded of the 100 percent volunteer nature of both management and maintenance of the dog park. "One way to do that is wearing shirts or aprons that say 'Volunteer' when we have our cleaning days, so people know that if they want the dog park to stay nice, they have to chip in," Perez-Kenning said.

Robertson said the dog park council is planning a big fund-raiser in 2019 at the Co-Prosperity Sphere in the Bridgeport neighborhood, where they've previously held fund-raising events. They'll make some tweaks for this year, but retain the silent auction and dog-friendly nature of the event.

Other planned changes for the council include mission and website updates to reflect how the dog park now has a permanent home, Robertson said.

The next McKinley Dog Park Advisory Council Meeting is slated for 7 p.m. on Monday, July 1, 2019, at the McKinley Park field house. Anyone who wants to get involved right now can follow the council's Facebook page or send email to mckinleydogpark@gmail.com


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