On May 1st, South Loop Dog PAC coordinated with representatives of two other Chicago ‘Dog “Friendly Area’ committees, Puptown and Churchill Park, to represent Chicago dog area committees at Bark in the Park. Some pictures from the event:
This seemed like a useful exercise, but we didn’t sell much, if anything. A bunch of people took membership information from the parks they frequented, and we hope this translates into ongoing support. If we do do this again, we should be clear that the function is to raise awareness of the role of DFA Committees in maintaining the off leash areas in Chicago, not fundraising. Next time, we might want to have a banner of some sort, and try to get more of the Chicago DFA support groups involved. We do have a Facebook page already!
Some things we learned:
- By far most of the people we asked were completely unaware that all dog friendly areas in Chicago are user-supported. This is a failure of communication by the city and the Chicago Park District. We will be bringing this to their attention – all DFA license holders should understand from the moment they pick up their tag: your off leash dog park is maintained by users like you, not by the City!
- The most requested information was ‘where are the dog parks‘. Luckily we had made one copy of a Google map that showed the location of the DFAs in Chicago, but for the future – we need more of these. We’ll be adding a link to the map on this website soon.
- And… John Lenti of Puptown is truly a masterful ‘barker‘ (pun intended).