Dogs and warm weather plans for parks dominated discussion at the Beacon Hill Civic Association’s Parks and Public Spaces Committee meeting Monday night as members talked about negligent pet owners, off-leash hours for dogs in parks and summer programming for Beacon Hill parks.
By far, the most heated issue was related to dogs in the neighborhood. Committee members discussed the ever-growing issue of dog owners neglecting or refusing to clean up after their dogs, citing it as both an environmental and quality-of-life issue.
“There was a time when people seemed to be doing more, and now they’re doing less,” committee member Colin Zick said.
Ideas to encourage cleaner sidewalks included putting more bag dispensers out, asking cops or park rangers to go out and write more tickets, putting up more signs, etc. There was also passing talk of block captains who would help keep an eye out for errant dog owners.
Committee members felt that dog owners in the neighborhood need to be more aware of their responsibilities.
The committee also discussed a number of issues related to dog ownership in the area, including its estimated that less than 20 percent of dogs in the neighborhood are licensed, and the lack of a permanent dog park in the area.
Among the future plans and goals of the committee are to help identify other locations on the Boston Common that can be used as areas for off-leash hours, in hopes of rotating the areas depending on the season. They also would like to start a campaign to encourage dog owners to pick up after their dogs in the parks and neighborhoods.
Also in regard to the Common, the public is invited to a March 23 groundbreaking ceremony at the Brewer Fountain at noon. The event marks the start of a renovation of the Common that will include patio tables, umbrellas and an electric piano that plays tunes during the day. The Common also will have free wireless internet hot spots installed by the fall. Not long after that, ground will be broken in mid-April for the recently approved Esplanade play space.
The Friends of the Philips Street Play Area unveiled a proposal for their 2011 programs and events, starting with a book fair on May 22 and followed by a sporting good swap on June 7.
On June 14, the Friends will start a five-part “Picnic in the Park” series, which will continue each following Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The series encourages neighbors, area professionals, tourists and students to come out to the park and bring a picnic basket while they enjoy entertainment ranging from musicians to magicians.
Events later in the season include a back-to-school swap and the 3rd Annual Harvest Festival. The Friends encourage members of the community who have programming, entertainment or fundraising ideas to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.