Friday, June 19, 2009

Tell SPAR "Basic" or "Better"

Shreveport Dog Park Alliance is currently in Stage 4 of the Project Milestones for Shreveport's first official dog park. Stage 7 is the Grand Opening! In order to get to Stage 5 FINALIZE DOG PARK PLAN, Shreveport Parks and Rec need to hear from YOU!
Compare the two designs and also the budgets from the last post and decide what you want.

I vote for BASIC DOG PARK because it costs less, has room for expansion, and would probably get more support.

I also let Tim know that I dont think we need TWO doggy fountains (in order to cut down costs). Just one outside the MAIN ENTRANCE

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

SPAR updates Dog Park Plan


It's been two months since my last update and I have been trying to get a topographic survey of the Veterans Park site. (It's due to be done May 27) Without the survey I can't do a real plan, but I got impatient and used the old schematic drawing from February (attached) and came up with some quantities and costs for a "Basic Park" a "Better Park" and some other items. (See the attached Program and Cost for Dog Park.pdf) The Basic Park is about an acre, smaller than the February drawing, and the Better Park is 1 3/4 acres. All the costs shown are estimates based on contractor installation.

After I get the survey I can do a layout so you can see what this will all look like.

Tim Wachtel, ASLA, Planner III
Shreveport Public Assembly & Recreation
505 Travis Street, Suite 560
Shreveport, LA 71101
Phone: (318) 673-7721
Fax: (318) 673-7878

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shreveport Dog Park Needs Friends

If you are interested in joining SHREVEPORT DOG PARK ALLIANCE, comment here with your email address.

Tim Wachtel of SPAR is seeking an official name for the dog park and an official GROUP (dog park users) that will help run the park.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Shreveport Seeking Dog Park Design

Tim Wachtel, a Shreveport Public Assembly & Recreation landscape architect and City park planner, wrote in a mass email sent Thursday that he has started work on designing a public dog park. However, he would like to hear from the future park users.

"I could just sit in my corner and come up with something, but I believe that the best parks are designed with input from the ultimate users and from those who operate and maintain them, " he wrote.

Wachtel says that he is willing to receive comments, ask & answer questions, and write project updates. He also would like help getting a "Dog Park Contact Group" email list so that he can send out the project schedule, post updates, and maintain communication.

If you want to participate, email

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Red River Master Plan Open House
Thursday, June 26
5-8 pm
Stoner Boat Launch Pavillion

The Clyde Fant Parkway Rec Plan, 2nd draft, is now available to the public. Tim Wachtel of SPAR sent it over to me to share it with the dog park people.

Are you still reading this blog? Sorry, I live in New Orleans now so some priorities have shifted. But I still believe in a dog park for Shreveport's future. My niece and nephew are growing up there, and dog parks are cool.

The revised MASTER PLAN indicates the pubic's request for a dog park, but it was not in the TOP THREE requests (read it to see what did make the top three).

The plan notes flooding issues along the Red River, including both the Hamel beach area site and above the Stoner Boat Launch area. HOWEVER, I do believe a dog park can be in a flood zone because the site is maintained (dog poop IS picked up by owner, or else...) with little infrastructure.

And then there is the little hidden secret of VETERANS. I have heard RUMORS of the Veterans' site being considered by the city for luxury loft condo gated easy street living facilities. So perhaps that is why this place exists in a sad state, just waiting to be rescued and loved. But the Master Plan does recognize this area as a good potential spot. The only thing that needs to be done here is a major clean-up effort because it is hidden by trees and more trees, therefore invisible and dangerous.

Please note: The Shreveport Dog Park Petition is still in circulation with over 1,100 signatures...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NOLA: City Bark

Plans for the first official dog park in New Orleans can be seen and read about in this week's cover story in Gambit Weekly. The location of the dog park is destined to a little-used area of the park, and it is believed that the addition of the official unleashed area will boost the City Park attendance significantly to more than pre-storm numbers. There will be a pass fee, and access will be granted through a type of swipe card.

Part of City Park's master plan, the design of the 4.6 acre dog park area is well-researched and thoughtful, with features such as a dog wash area and future dog agility course. Says Bob Becker, City Park CEO:

"It means several things for City Park. First, it responds to public demand.Secondly, it's just going to be cool. The committee that's been formed to do it is very gung-ho. With any successful project, if you peel back the layers, you can find a core group that has that passion; this group has that. It's a great way to promote socialization of people. I know it sounds corny, but it could be a great healing place, too."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2008:Year of the Dog


It takes a leader to make Shreveport's dog park a reality. Who will it be?
I hate to start something and not finish it, but alas, I have moved to New Orleans. I am no longer the Shreveport dog park leader. Consider me the instigator.
I think Shreveport has a lot of potential, and others agree (see petition) a dog park would be the perfect amenity for a city that wants to nurture its creative, modern, young, professional, retired class.

There needs to be more options in this town, and being outdoors with your pup, socializing with other people is a healthy way to achieve this.

Thanks to all of my Shreveport dog owner friends, especially Kathryn Bloomfield who worked tirelessly on the presentation we have sent out to Shreveport city officials. and thanks to the talented Emily Ellis Welch who designed this awesome logo that I hope to one day see on a cap or t-shirt. It is adorable.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Who let the dogs out?

"We did," we answer next Monday morning.

Bringing Reddy to Stoner on Sunday, and we hope to meet you there. We have some things to chat about, mainly about the future.

Sunday Dec. 16 at 1pm
Stoner Boat Launch

Dont forget the poo bags!

Friday, November 30, 2007

City Park to add dog park area

Times-Picayune reported recently that City Park of New Orleans plans to add a dog park to the north part of the property as part of future improvement plans. This means that New Orleans will have their first official dog park, despite the numerous unofficial dog parks that pepper the city, including sites at the levee south of Carrollton and the Barracks in the French Quarter. So typical of New Orleans, which I love: people just doing what they wanna do!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Our shadow from a bridge

Our second to last weekend in New Orleans (for now), Reddy and I strolled through City Park on Saturday. It is hard to imagine the park was submerged for three weeks after the hurricane. I saw a palm tree down in a pond, but otherwise the moss on the ancient oaks are hanging on, and the Picayune headline says the carosel re-opens today!

Friday, November 2, 2007


This photo was taken last year in front of my apartment. Its amazing how much changes in one year. I dont even live in the same apartment. Now we are in New Orleans and I am working on a great project, and Reddy has housemates. When we return to Shreveport in a couple of weeks things will look different from when we left them. The apartment will have a neglected smell (and hopefully the electricity wont be turned off again!), the colors will be warmer, the air cooler, friends will have new stories to tell, and new efforts will chug along to make the dog park happen. Wish it could happen overnight, but these seemingly simple things never quite happen this way. Perhaps this time next year, our dogs will be frolicking together in an urban, open green space called Veterans' Memorial Dog Park (or somethng like that).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mayor's Forum

Shreveport Dog Park Alliance correspondent David McCormick attended the Mayor's Young Professional's Forum Tuesday evening at Stoner Boat Launch. Amidst crawfish pies and such, McCormick said he got some good one-on-one time with Da Mayor.

" We talked about the park and he was very diplomatic about how it is important and how will be good for the city. When he spoke at the beginning he talked about Shreveport being 'a hallmark of a progressive place to be.' I mentioned that a dog park would be instrumental in that."

McCormick said he walked away from the meeting with the notion that the dog park was going to happen, but the question remains WHERE? and WHEN?

"I think it went real well, and we are on the right track," he said.

Apparently there is some talk of a MASTER PLAN that I can not get to the bottom of at the moment as I am working away from Shreveport. However, efforts continue with the Veterans' site as I received news today from local activist Jason Scott about re-vamping an existing non-profit organization dedicated to this once glorious park that exists today in disarray.

Thank you for your continued interest and emailed suggestions on our dog park efforts!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

St. John's Bayou

originally uploaded by jujuhoffpauir.
While I am working in New Orleans for six weeks, I am staying with a friend off Esplanade near St. John's Bayou. I enjoyed exploring the area this weekend and have decided I really really dig it.

And Reddy loves it, too. He has come alive again. He now walks me, and is busy sniffing around the hood. There are tons of cats, and I add that to my list of How New Orleans Reminds Me of Some European City or Third World Country.

Poop-free neighborhood

originally uploaded by jujuhoffpauir.
This is a neighborhhood -maintained park on Esplanade Ave. with plastic chairs, hand-made signs, birdhouses, and fountains.

Whenever we stroll on by, there is someone raking leaves, re-setting stones, or reading under a tree or by the fountain.