A group of locals want to make it easier for man’s best friend to enjoy Pelham Parkway alongside their owners.
The Pelham Parkway Neighborhood Association is pushing for a dog park on their neighborhood’s greenway or in nearby Bronx Park East.
While the idea for a dog park on Pelham Parkway is not new, it was suggested again by a resident a few weeks ago and the association decided to run with it, said vice president Andrea Siegel.
“We have wanted this for quite a while,” said Siegel.
She said that in the past few weeks over 100 people along Pelham Parkway were asked for their opinion on the idea, and everyone responded favorably.
Association president Edith Blitzer said she has talked to her fair share of neighbors as well.
“A lot of them are dog owners, and they’re all for it,” said Blitzer.
One such dog owner is Pelham Parkway resident John Batista, who has a French Papillon and Siberian Husky puppy.
At the moment, the closest dog park to Batista is in Pelham Bay Park.
“It’s not convenient,” he said. “I have to pack up two dogs and drive.”
He’d like to have a place for his dogs to run around in his own neighborhood. The benefits of a dog park include keeping the animals socialized and well-mannered as well as healthy, said Batista.
In addition to wanting to give his dogs more exercise, Batista said he likes the idea of the park as a gathering place for dog lovers and a way to meet his neighbors.
“When everybody gets to know each other, it’s better for the community,” said Batista.
Blitzer agrees that the dog park could strengthen the neighborhood by functioning as a meeting place.
“The community will get together, that’s what’s important,” said Blizter.
The proposed park is in the very early stages of planning, Siegel said, and the association has reached out to the local councilmen, Councilman Jimmy Vacca and Councilman Ritchie Torres, for help. The park could go in either the Pelham Parkway greenway or Bronx Park East, depending on who can secure the funding or which location is determined to be more feasible.
Although it will take some time, Siegel said she’s committed to seeing the project through to completion as a service to her neighbors.
“I will do whatever I can to see this succeed,” she said.