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Parks Department Hears Plans for Off-Leash Areas on Boston Common

They will vote on the proposal at their Feb. 25 meeting.

The Friends of the Public Garden presented their plan Tuesday to the city's parks department for creating areas on the Boston Common that dogs can use. 

The plan proposes rotating off-leash dog recreation areas on the Common, having two open at any one time, with the others taken out of use for renovation of the turf (aeration, overseeding, fertilizing). 

Liz Vizza, the Friends' executive director, said the board "favorably disposed to the plan overall" and will vote on it at their Feb. 25 meeting. 

"The goals are to develop a management approach that protects the Common’s turf and trees while providing meaningful dog recreation opportunities, and to build the community of dog owners into active stewards and supporters of the Common," Vizza said.

"Areas have been identified that serve neighborhoods on the east and west sides of the park, and we worked with Parks Department staff to identify sites that were appropriate candidates for the program," she said. 

Sandy February 02, 2013 at 05:42 AM
Dog owners need to stop putting the burden on us with all this crap because they cant care for their pet properly. Call the Board of Health if you see anyone promoting their pet to pee or poo on public grounds and report them. This gross filth act needs to stop because it is very unhealthy. Our streets are not toilets.
John February 02, 2013 at 05:47 PM
These dog owners will go to the dog park at let their dog walk and themselves all over the grass were other dogs have pooped and pee and then go home any carry all that nastiness in their home. Some dog people are so dirty and disgusting and their actions prove it in this city.
Beacon_Gal February 05, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Responsible dog owners pick up poop and meet the needs of their dogs. Irresponsible dog owners don't pick up poop and likely don't tend to their dogs exercise needs either. Without the Common, there isn't anyplace local that dogs can get the exercise they need to be happy. For everyone's benefit, it's important to have happy dogs in our community ... not anxious unhappy dogs. Think this is a great great idea. And ... it's happening anyway ... why not make it legal?
Takahiro Hiroi February 14, 2013 at 03:35 AM
It is unthinkable that there may be an unfenced area in the middle of a large city where dogs can run unleashed. There are millions of dog bites cases a year and small children walk in Boston Common as well as elderly who cannot fight against large dogs. If dog owners want to have their haven, they should move away from this city. If you want your dog run freely, you run behind it as fast as it does.
Lindsey February 14, 2013 at 07:00 PM
The level of ignorance on Beacon Hill is alarming! Anna, Laurie and the others that think an animal going to the bathroom or “foul” should be illegal in Boston- That’s pure insanity. Owners need to pick up or be fined, but you are showing your lack of intelligence with your ridiculous comments. The Cambridge researchers Paul Mellars and Jennifer French, in a paper in the journal Science, they concluded that "numerical supremacy alone may have been a critical factor" in human dominance. Now, with an analysis in American Scientist, the anthropologist Pat Shipman is building on their work. After analyzing the Mellars and French paper and comparing it with the extant literature, Shipman has come to an intriguing conclusion: that humans' comparative evolutionary fitness owes itself to the domestication of dogs. Yep. Man's best friend, Shipman suggests, might also be humanity's best friend. Dogs might have been the technology that allowed early humans to flourish.

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