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Helmut Schmidt, Published January 28 2010

Downtown Fargo dog park sites debated

Debate on whether to put a dog park in downtown Fargo focused on two sites in the southwest corner of Island Park during a meeting Wednesday of the Park Board’s Facility Committee.

Board members also learned that the developer of Brandt Crossing wants a dog park as part of the 20-plus acres of park planned for the development south of Urban Plains.

Commissioner Barb Johnson brought the Island Park plan to the table, calling it a natural fit.

“It makes sense to be there,” she said.

Wildflower Grove Park at 9 Lower Terrace N. has also been considered a potential site for a downtown-area dog park, Park District personnel said.

Commissioner Joel Vettel said a dog park in Island Park would probably draw complaints.

“I’d rather see one down by the river,” he said.

But Johnson said Island Park is perfect as a park for small dogs.

The cost of amenities for a dog park, including fencing, tables, benches and a water hydrant, is $24,090, district staff estimated.

Two other suggested Island Park dog park sites, one south of the YMCA, and the other south of the Fargo Moorhead Community Theater, didn’t appear to draw support.

Director of Parks Dave Leker said he wants input from the district’s forester to determine if the roots of Island Park’s trees can handle dog park traffic.

Staff said they will bring dog park plans for Island Park and Wildflower Grove to the next facility committee meeting.

A dog park in southwest Fargo may be possible in the next year or so if development of the first addition of Brandt Crossing proceeds smoothly, commissioners learned.

Brandt Crossing is bordered by 33rd and 36th avenues south on the north and south sides, and 47th Street South on the east side. Brandt Crossing Park would be a large triangle that runs from 32nd Avenue South to south of 36th Avenue on the west side of the development.

The dog park, as envisioned, would be south of 32nd Avenue South, a few blocks north of the development.

In other business, committee members liked a plan to put an 18-hole disc golf course on the former Trollwood Performing Arts School site in north Fargo.

Leker said it’s possible nine holes could be set up this summer,

The Park Board is expected to vote on the plan at its February meeting.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583