Park District to draft new dogs-in-parks policy

Bumbles – poster child

A number of Skokie Park District residents turned out for Tuesday’s public hearing on the district’s animal and pet ordinance, speaking out overwhelmingly in support of a change to the current policy, which restricts dogs from most park district property.

For over an hour, more than two dozen residents gave feedback on both sides of the issue, with many suggesting a common-sense change to the rules.

As a result of the Tuesday hearing and public comments at the February meeting, district staff is now working with residents to draft a new policy allowing dogs on leashes, with certain restrictions. The suggested changes will be presented at the next monthly meeting on April 23, at which time the board is expected to vote to resolve the issue.

The current ordinance excludes domesticated pets from park district property, except for dogs at the district’s Pooch Park, and at four designated district pathways (provided that animals are on a leash no longer than six feet). In both instances, owners must remove any of their pet’s excrement from the park.

The general consensus from the public is that the existing dog park is a disaster when it rains.