White Rock's Dog Park is Getting a $1 Million Redo, but First, Why Are There None in Southern Dallas?

whiterockdogparkrender.jpg
Yesterday, the Dallas City Council green-lighted a long-delayed, million-dollar renovation of the dog park at White Rock Lake. Built for a song a dozen years ago, it is crowded, muddy and in bad need of an overhaul.

City Councilman Dwaine Caraway agrees. He, like the rest of his colleagues, voted for the improvements and says he plans to pay a visit with his dog Annie once the park reopens in August. But first Caraway, as he often does, steered the conversation to the disparity between northern and southern Dallas.

"I just want to make it a point, we don't have a dog park, and doggone it, if all these millions of dollars in these dog parks with air conditioned dog houses and all these other things that they got going, then give us something," Caraway said. "At least put us in a plan for a dog park somewhere."

Indeed, all four of the city's off-leash dog parks are north of Interstate 30. In addition to the one at White Rock, there are two in Far North Dallas and one between downtown and Deep Ellum. The city is studying putting one in Oak Cliff, but an actual park is years away.

See also: Oak Cliff is One Big Step Closer to Getting a Dog Park at Kidd Springs

Council members Jerry Allen and Sandy Greyson, whose district includes the North Bark Dog Park off the Bush Turnpike, say council members have considerable discretion to determine how the money allotted for their district is spent.

"Two million dollars was spent in that dog park, and my understanding is that came from other parks in District 12," Greyson said. "It was the councilman's [Ron Natinsky] prerogative at the time to shift the money from people parks into dog parks."

It's true that southern Dallas council members haven't used their districts' share of bond money to pay for canine amenities, Caraway says, but he bristles at the suggestion that it's because they don't want a dog park.

"Our priority has been what? Stray dogs," Caraway told Unfair Park this morning. "Well goddamn, that's kinda unfair that we're fighting stray dogs that we can't pick up" and Greyson and Allen are suggesting they should pour their cut of bond money into dog parks.

See also: City Preps For $1.1 Million Renovation of White Rock Dog Park

"Our priorities are totally different from what they're saying," he says. "We're already the ones that are under-recognized, for lack of a better word, economically."

That brings Caraway to his larger point, which is that in a city with an abundance of urgent needs that has experienced several years of austerity, $1 million is an absurd and irresponsible amount to spend renovating a dog park.

"It would have been better if it had been $300,000."

See also: Wait, During Super Bowl Week We Gave a Key to Our City to Michael Vick?

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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82 comments
rusknative
rusknative

Caraway wants JunkYard dogs to have a Dog Park to roam FREE?  South Dallas has very few social family pets that walk in ANY part...check out where all the high quality VET clinics are.....not so much around South Dallas.

Pecos45
Pecos45

Dallas, a typical GOP town.

The GOP loves dogs, but hates people.

pak152
pak152

"Why Are There None in Southern Dallas?"

er-uh racial bias???

dallas_dude
dallas_dude

I think spending a million on a dog park renovation is a great use of tax payer money.


             - idiots who want more bike trails too.

sleepyhead420
sleepyhead420

I usually agree with Dwayne...but they do have that really fun city water park down at Hampton and I-20 and all we have is the Harry Stone pool. So lets not get too "poor pitiful me" about parks.

mzreeses214
mzreeses214

I would love for a dog park to be built in Southwest Dallas. I am sick and tired of North Dallas getting all the perks. I guess it isn't white enough here for us to actually get some attention. We pay taxes just like the rest of the city.

aymesvida
aymesvida

I am just as much of a dog lover as the next person; I have my own zoo at home; but has anyone else noticed that we have 1000s upon 1000s of children in THIS city going hungry EVERY day?


A million dollars for a dog park? Most homes even in Highland Park didn't have a million dollar budget when they were built. Who the heck came up with this idea and who were the group of idiots that chimed in with "Yeah! Great idea!"?


We seriously need some perspective. The dogs will pee on everything that is built anyway. Why don't we rethink this and come at it with a more responsible way of thinking?

DogGone
DogGone

Thanks to all of for your concern, but South Dallas does not need any dog parks. We have hundreds of dogs who have free run of this entire part of the city; there's no need to confine them to a park. On any given day, we'll see 10-15 dogs running loose on our street, usually in packs of 3 or 4. Calling Animal Control is useless: by the time the officers arrive, the dogs are gone. 


What we REALLY need in South Dallas are a few air-tight containers, each mounted on a truck chassis with hoses leading from the exhaust of the truck to the container.  These vehicles could be driven by an animal control officer. An accompanying officer could be armed with a dart gun. Each day's catch of strays could be buried in a mass grave, somewhere in the new dog park at White Rock Lake. 

lawsuth
lawsuth

Where is Southern Dallas?  Is it close to South Dallas?

getrichindallas
getrichindallas

Trust me. As a (sorta) Lancaster resident, anything we get down South is considered an amenity that's not another dollar store or check cashing place. But otherwise, anything below 20 is considered the bastard of Dallas.

whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

It is a polar vortex, I agree with Caraway - yes $1mil is crazy and $300k seems like a better amount......after all, it is a dog park. The other $700k can go towards getting rid of potholes down EVERY. DALLAS, STREET or Education

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Because dog parks just aren't perceived as a "necessary amenity" in the minds of So. Dallas voters?



Threeboys
Threeboys

While I tend to agree with Caraway on this issue, the piece on WFAA news last night said the 1MM was earmarked by that councilperson as part of a bond package.

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

Evidently there are no dog parks in the Mayors plan known as "growSouth"..... Nor is there anything else but fancy words and pictures.

Guesty
Guesty

Did anyone in South Dallas ask for a dog park?  Is this something residents in South Dallas really want, or would they rather see the money spent on something else (which seems to be what their council members decided when allocating the funds)?


There really is no point in having council members represent separate districts if the city has to spend its money the same way in each district (e.g. if North Dallas wants a dog park, South Dallas has to get one too even if South Dallas would rather invest in some sport courts).  I thought the whole point is to give communities some way to set their own priorities separate from the city as a whole.  


Now if the city is spending less in South Dallas per capita, that is a problem.  And it probably is.  But I doubt the dog park is really the issue.  

rusknative
rusknative

@Pecos45Asians love dog....with Rice and Soy Sauce....Dear Leader said he ate dog when he was a Child in  Indonesia....then the dog ate his birthcertificate and transcripts.

rusknative
rusknative

@mzreeses214Then move out of subsidized housing, get a job, and move North. North Dallas pays WAY more taxes than ANYONE in South Dallas

rusknative
rusknative

@aymesvidaDOGS PEEING ON EVERYTHING is just like Subsidized Housing and Homeless hangouts....except THAT is PEOPLE peeing on everything....dogs do not throw down trash and vandalize buildings.

rusknative
rusknative

@aymesvidawhy are kids going hungry? free food at schools, free food via food stamps, free money, subidized housing...etc etc.....when the parents stop smoking cigs, drinking booze, wearing designer jeans and Air Jordens, get rid of cable TV, and stop buying chrome rims for their rides....THEN maybe they kids will get food bought and prepared for them BY THEIR OWN PARENTS.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@aymesvida

No, we don't have thousands of children going hungry every day.  Rather, we provide a free breakfast and lunch to EVERY child through the school district.  We do this, regardless of skin color or citizenship or religion or income level or any other test. 

So you can climb down off your cross now and quit with the Chicken Little bullshit.

dallas_dude
dallas_dude

@aymesvida

@aymesvidaYOU GO TO HELL.  DOGS ARE WAY MORE IMPORTANT THAN PEOPLE.  


signed:  every stupid dog owner in this city who thinks it's ok to bring their dog into restaurants and stores.

rusknative
rusknative

@DogGonesouth dallas people do not neuter animals or pay for vet bills nor pay for them to get vacinated...that is why there are too many loose dogs...and idiots that defend this behavior by the citizens are too dumb to comment.

jonnieengland1
jonnieengland1

@DogGoneI'm hoping you have a really sick sense of humor and thought your comment was funny.  If not, God help you--and any animals you have the bad luck to cross your path.  Your comment is disgusting and vile.

jonnieengland1
jonnieengland1

@lawsuth  South Dallas is not Southern Dallas.  It's the area just south of downtown--the Fair Park area in general.  Southern Dallas is south of the Trinity River.  And it's basically divided into Southeast Dallas, Pleasant Grove, South Oak Cliff, East Oak Cliff, North Oak Cliff, and Southwest Oak Cliff. Hope that helps.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@getrichindallas
If you're unhappy with what your representatives are bringing to your town, perhaps you should change who you elect to office.

sleepyhead420
sleepyhead420

@getrichindallas whoa...below 20? I thought we were talking Kiest Park here. Sorry chump. (facetious comment for those who can't tell).

casiepierce
casiepierce

@GuestyUm.... Caraway didn't say that S. Dallas wants an equally expensive dog park. His comments were an exercise in contrasting. In N. Dallas. we will spend millions for people to cage their animals. Meanwhile in S. Dallas, there's a zillion feral animals running free. It's all about priorities.

Pecos45
Pecos45

@aymesvida@bvckvs

I think you are misinformed. 

(And a bit mean spirited)

What do you have against feeding hungry children, and why do you deny that any exist?

aymesvida
aymesvida

@bvckvs @aymesvida  Yes there is a program in place, but it just isn't enough. Especially if you look at what they are served as those free meals. It is hardly a snack for most people. When I read that there are still 1 in 4 children that go to bed hungry every night and for some reason 420 thousand children didn't take advantage of the program last year, it would seem that there still is a huge problem. It saddens me that so few people read beyond the "fantastic headline".


Maybe instead of being so snarky, you could read a bit more on the subject and maybe make a donation to Hunger Busters or the North Texas Food Bank.


I wish you the very best and very affluent new year.


http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20130611-report-finds-north-texas-children-at-risk-of-going-hungry-lack-adequate-mental-health-care.ece


http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/rockwall-rowlett/headlines/20131130-north-texas-food-bank-in-time-of-plenty-hunger-still-graces-many-faces.ece



NotReallyThanks
NotReallyThanks

@casiepierce @Guesty It is clearly the city government's fault and not Caraway's constituents that are responsible for all the ferals and loose animals.  

rusknative
rusknative

@Pecos45@bvckvsYou are defending an ideology, not based in facts.  Worthless liberal blather.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Pecos45@bvckvs
If you HONESTLY think that I'm misinformed and mean spirited, then asking me to provide you with information is a really dumb thing for you to do.

And if you HONESTLY interpret my statement about many families choosing not to take advantage of the food program as somehow meaning that there are no hungry children, then that was a dumb conclusion for you to jump to.

But I don't think you were being honest - at least, not with yourself.  I think you're just desperately looking for something to be outraged about - and failed.


bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@aymesvida@bvckvs

Your numbers are totally bogus - because there aren't 420,000 kids in Dallas.  There's only about 1.25M people in total.

As far as the food being bad - that's bogus, too.  There have been MANY weeks when the only food I ate was the meals I took with my students.
If you think the portions are too small, it probably has something to do with the fact that MOST folks are obese and have an unhealthy standard for what "enough" would be.

But you make one good point - that there are still many families who CHOOSE to not take advantage of the program - by not making their kids go to school.  Diverting more money into the program wont change that.


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