Feb. 7, 2014 By Christian Murray
State officials presented the design plans for a proposed dog run that would be located next to Center Boulevard, sandwiched between the new P.S./I.S. 78Q building and the Queens West Sports Field.
The design, if approved, would result in a 3,000 sqf. dog run, with a Center Blvd entrance. There would be a landscaped buffer between the sports field and the school. Furthermore, there would be separate green space at the 5th Street end.
Karen Phillips, the director of the New York City region of New York State Parks, presented the plan at a meeting held at PS/IS78Q by Friends of Gantry Neighborhood Parks, a non-profit group dedicated to maintaining the local parks.
Phillips said the design was created after feedback from the local parents, elected officials and members of Community Board 2.
The original design was for a larger dog run, with an entrance closer to the school. Parents pushed back against that plan arguing that it put children at risk.
The creation of the dog run—as well as the adjacent garden at the 5th Street end—would cost the state about $750,000, Phillips said.
A final decision as to whether the state will go ahead with the plans has not been made. Phillips said she is still seeking additional feedback.
Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, said that the public will have a chance to voice its opinion at a public hearing that will most likely be in March. Once that is complete, Phillips is expected to render a decision.
Conley said the “The need for more dog space is very clear,” although he added, “it will not be at the sacrifice of children.”
There has been a major influx of dogs into the area in recent years, as most of the buildings are very animal-friendly. Furthermore, there are several dog runs.
There is a dog run on Vernon Boulevard and 48th Avenue, another at Hunters Point South , one at Murray Park and a small run by Anabel Basin that was constructed by TF Cornerstone.