For a city full of fine amenities, South Pasadena City Council members were quick to point out last Thursday that a new dog park under construction in the Arroyo Park will be among the best.
The city is already saturated with examples of what sets it apart, namely the Sunday in the Park summer music series, a float entered in the Tournament of Roses Parade each year, a community garden, the festive Festival of Balloons 4th of July Parade, outstanding schools, active youth sports programs like Little League and AYSO, the South Pasadena Educational Foundation’s (SPEF) Parti Gras, a Classic Car Show along Mission Street and the annual police and fire department open house in the fall.
With an abundance of dog lovers in town, Councilmember Dr. Richard Schneider believes the dog park will be put to good use, noting, “We thought this would be a good amenity for the community. It will be a nice space. It was mostly unused and now it’s being put to good use.”
The South Pasadena City Council, members of the city’s Animal Commission, local police and fire department officials, a Girl Scout representative, dog lovers and canines all took park in the groundbreaking for the new facility on Stoney Drive near the skate park and across the street from the Arroyo Seco Golf Course.
South Pasadena Mayor Diana Mahmud, wearing a hardhat and holding a shovel, paid tribute to the occasion, by saying the dog park is another good project to benefit the community.
“We’ve heard for a number of years from residents who would like nothing more than to simply have their dogs run free in a park,” she said. “Now we’re able to do that. I want to thank the residents for their support, and I look forward to their participation and fundraising efforts to enhance the park’s features once it’s constructed.”
The new home for dogs to roam is scheduled to open to the public in the next couple of months, according to South Pasadena’s Community Service Director Sheila Pautsch. “It started with residents asking for a dog park,” she explained, saying it then morphed into community meetings, people providing their input and later with a conceptual design. “We listened to what the community wanted, now it’s in the construction stages with us here today to break ground.” The half-acre plot of land, which once housed satellites for Time Warner Cable, will be divided, providing space for large dogs on one side and smaller dogs on the other.
The park, with the vision of council members, is made possible through a $232,000 grant
from L.A. County Board of Supervisor Michael Antonovich, along with a Los Angeles
Regional Park and Open Space Proposition A grant.
City Council member Marina Khubesrian helped launch the project when she served as mayor two years ago. “I’m excited to see our vision and planning come to fruition, and to be here in recognition of the groundbreaking milestone,” she said. “The Dog Park is going to be a terrific amenity for our community to enjoy as a place to gather outdoors with our canine companions, children and senior citizens.”
Khubesrian added she’s looking forward to seeing a completed Dog Park in the near future.
Echoed fellow councilmember Robert Joe, noting, with so many residents who enjoy their pets, “We need to take care of our dogs,” he said. “To have a dog park is very important to our community.”
Mayor Pro Tem Michael Cacciotti, who has been on the council since 2001, explained that the dog park “has been the dream for many of us for many years,” he said. “I really want to recognize this council for making it come to reality, but also going back several councils when this was the former TimeWarner satellite center. As their footprint decreased, we made sure their lease would end and we would keep it for a future recreational opportunity. My vision was always a dog park, but I want to thank prior councils because they really kept this open for our citizens. We’ve finally raised the money through volunteers, commissions and Supervisor Antonovich, who has been a great asset in getting us over the final hurdle. This dream is going to become a reality within a couple of months.”
City Manager Sergio Gonzalez insists, “This is a nice amenity for our city to enjoy. We have a very pet-friendly community.”