South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

 
 

By Al Lowe
Contributing Writer 

Mount residents continue to support dog park in Olympia

 

November 1, 2011



There was only one dissenting comment at a public meeting held in Mount Washington on October 25 to gauge support for an unleashed dog park inside the Mount's Olympia Park.

A third of@more than 75 residents attended spoke that night in favor of the project, a small fenced park being located at hillock and Virginia avenues. Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith said financing would come from community development block grants or some other funding mechanism. Official approvals are needed from Citiparks Director Mike Bradley and the Mayor's Office.

@The naysayer at the meeting was Anne Massucci, who felt Olympia Park should benefit the children, not pets. Ms. Kail-Smith protested, "I do an awful lot to fund programs for children in Mount Washington. There are dogs at the park now. I think we can work with her on her concerns."

@"I own a Pit Bull," Ms. Massucci had said. "My opposition is not to the dog park. My opposition is about where you choose to put the dog park. I love my dog but I would not give it part of Olympia Park.

@"Parks, pools and schools all give to the children. Let's get together and think of another place."

@Ms. Kail-Smith noted Ms. Massucci had previously been active with the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation and has been a strong advocate of children's programs.

@"A lot of planning has been done. There's nobody at that park at all. You get two sled riders a year. This would be a comfortable place, a piece of the community that everyone knows," said resident Lorraine Mollura.

@Resident Eva Simms was impressed by the attendance at the meeting.

@"It is pretty amazing that you could get that many people organized," she said. "This will make our park better and make our neighborhood better. Be careful that you have a beautiful design."

@Adam P. Causgrove, who did a lot of organizing, said the design was not yet ready to be published in the newspaper.

@He moved to Pittsburgh and was able to make many new friends while walking his pooch. "It's a great way to meet people. I‘d like to stay in the city. I don't want to move to the suburbs. I thank all the city officials who work with us," he said.

@"This project has given us a sense of community," Mike Andreychak said.

@"There's nothing more that a dog likes to do than get together with other dogs," Ginny Gates said. "My big dog needs to stretch and not be leashed in my postage stamp yard. He can do that in a dog park."

@A member of the Grandview Lions said his organization supported the efforts and might donate benches to the completed park.

@"We are really behind the times here," another man said. He told about his son who lives in a suburb of Nashville about that night's meeting. He heard his son express amazement because his town has several dog parks. "This enhances the quality of life."

@A dog park would be very family friendly," said a young woman, who like Mr. Causgrove, moved to Pittsburgh and made friends while exercising her dog.

"I hope this goes through," said Tom Brady, who mentioned he's a member of the MWCDC and Friends of Grandview Park. He added he was speaking for himself and not for any organization.

"I think there has been a minimum of concern tonight," Ms. Kail-Smith said. "We will meet internally and will reach a final decision."

 

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