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November 16, 2007



I do not reside in KCMO. However, agree, agree, agree! (as I'm sure you know) As a daily park patron (50 acres), I believe there is one suggestion I would add, IF and WHEN it is at all possible. TRails. In the years I have been a dog park patron, I have definitley noted that unless the dogs already know each other well, AND their onwers, dogs do not 'hang out' well. When the owners gather round each other, w/ dogs acting up and mingling at our feet, more disagreements occur -- generally nothing noteworthy -- but I have noted that my dogs prefer to walk (and/or swim) over hanging around, visiting. Trails provide destinations and fulfill the dogs' need to travel forward, rather than run around in circles or 'hang out'. And my problem mouth, Room, does best when we are walking with a pack. She mellows out and settles comfortably into a position within the pack.

Just some stuff to think about when designating and designing areas.


oops, my dog's name is Roo, not Room!


As I see it the biggest problem is that the Parks Department has been very slow to respond to changes people's recreation preferences. I've heard that the Penn Valley Dog Park is used more than any of the community centers - yet this fact is not reflected in the department's budget.

It's not just dog parks. Other recreational uses like mountain biking, disc golf, soccer, etc. are all woefully under-represented in the KCMO parks system. Cities that have more dog parks usually also have more of these other opportunities.

The Parks Department needs to get on board with citizens' changing habits.


I know the parks board isn't exactly the most well funded group in KC, but I've been to a couple of Parks board meetings over the past 6 months and I have to say, I was really embarrassed the couple of times I've been there. I'm not sure where these people live, but they seemed woefully lacking knowledge about the city's parks, and yet, seemed to have the "we know more than you" attitude when people have spoken (and this goes beyond just the dog park issue). It was really quite embarassing I thought.

And yeah, it didn't take much looking at the parks board to realize there aren't a lot of moutain bikers, hikers, soccer players etc among the group.

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