Ithaca Dog Park
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The park is located on the Festival Lands, adjacent to the Allan H. Treman State Marine Park at the head of Cayuga Lake. Part of the park is on state park land, and some is on city land. The beach, which is on state land, is used by dogs for swimming. Even before off-leash was legal, dog owners had been bringing their dogs to get exercise off-leash. The park land was created when dredging spoils were dumped there in the 1960s, and is now used by birdwatchers, joggers, skiers, picnickers and strollers. It also has a relatively undeveloped shoreline. This large park is beautifully fenced, and has city water supply, child-sized swimming pools for the dogs, beautiful shade trees, and benches and picnic tables for people and dogs. The park was initially developed by the Tomkins County Dog Owners Group (tcdog.com), the city of Ithaca, and the New York State Parks Commission.
Tompkins County Dog Owners Group
The Tompkins County Dog Owners Group (TCDOG) advocates and supports the park on behalf of dog owners.
The City of Ithaca and the New York State Parks Commission, along with the Town of Ithaca, and Tompkins County Board, and park user groups are in the process of planning a fenced-in, off-leash area for a dog park at the marina. As of February 2008, there is a temporary fenced-in area where Ithacans and others can come and bring their dogs to exercise. Dogs outside the fenced area are required to be leashed. This officially approved off-leash area was moved and somewhat expanded in May 2008 to straddle both city and state-owned land.
On December 5, 2007, the Common Council voted unanimously in the extension to the leash law exemption. This would extend the temporary legal dog park until April 3 within a fenced-in area of the city's Festival Lands.
- Making it legal to have dogs off leash within a designated fenced area of the Festival Lands until April 3, 2008.
- Constructing a $6,000 temporary fence around the festival lands. Much of the opposition to the park should be solved by building this fence, although others have said that it is pointless to erect a fence to keep the dogs away from people when the city has acknowledged that dog walkers are the only ones to use the park in the winter.
On December 15, 2007, TCDOG members volunteered to pound in fence posts for a 4-foot-tall (1.2 m) fence that will surround the new temporary park. The city has allotted $6,000 to construct a temporary fence. The extension is now valid because the fence was completed in early January 2008.
- The Tompkins County Dog Owners Group (TCDOG) website has extensive information on the history of the area and the recent efforts to create a legal off leash dog area: tcdog.org
- Listings of the numerous other legal dog parks in the US: Dogfriendly.com-Off-Leash Dog Parks
- An updates blog: ithacadogpark.wordpress.com
- Ithaca Dog Park on Ithaca Wiki
- "Fencing is up; off-leash park reopens at Festival Lands". The Ithaca Journal. January 12, 2008. p. 1B.
- Gashler, Krisy (December 7, 2007). "Dog park extended until April 3". The Ithaca Journal. pp. 1B, 2B.
- Gashler, Krisy (December 4, 2007). "Dog park exemption returns to city agenda". The Ithaca Journal. pp. 1A, 4A.
- Gashler, Krisy (November 23, 2007). "Council will address dog park, looming end of leash law exemption". The Ithaca Journal. pp. 1A, 4A.