april tahoe mt. news .. unedited
By Kathryn Reed
"Tahoe is so dog friendly." It's often heard, but the reality is walking a dog off-leash on the South Shore can come with a lecture and a fine. And a leash doesn't always mean the four-legged family member is welcome.
All this is about to end. The City Council last fall allocated $35,000 for a dog park. The romping grounds at Bijou Community Park will open no later than July 1.
The dog park, which doesn't have a formal name, will be on the south side near the exit. It will not displace any of the existing uses in the 35-acre park. Years ago, an archery range operated where the dog park will go.
No changes will be made to the land.
"It has a slight uphill run. The top of the property has a good amount of nice big trees," said Gary Moore, director of parks and recreation for South Lake Tahoe. “The bottom of the property near Al Tahoe Boulevard is more open and exposed. It will have some grass area, sod in it, but it will mostly be natural-scape."
A six-foot cyclone fence will enclose the nearly one-acre parcel. Part of it will be sectioned off for big dogs, the other for small dogs. Drinking fountains for the furry critters and separate ones for their people will be installed. Benches will also be added.
Garbage cans and mitts to pickup up doo-doo will be provided.
No leashes necessary. Tennis balls and Frisbees welcome. It's up to the owners to figure out which side of the park to have their pet run around in.
"Dog parks seem to be very good at self-policing. People who go to dog parks are generally good dog owners," Moore said.
Moore said he expects to spend about $30,000 to get the park running. The remainder of the budgeted money will be spent as needs arise. He expects the park maintenance bill to be about $3,000 per year. This can be partly absorbed by current staff doing maintenance and landscape work.
The park will be free, open from sunrise to sunset. While snow is on the ground, it will be closed. Moore expects it to be closed from about Thanksgiving to Easter.
"It will be a neat amenity for our community and for dog lovers. Ant it's a really appropriate use for Bijou," Moore said.