Monday, August 23, 2010

New and Improved Dog Run Coming to the Williamsbridge Oval

The folks over at Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval have been working hard to ensure that the current construction projects at the park are moving along as quickly as possible. They've even begun hosting "Night Walks," which entail walking around the entirety of the park after dark in order to see which lights may need to be fixed or replaced. There's one this evening at 9pm - meet at the Keeper's Gate entrance if you're interested in helping out!

Below is a detailed update from FOWO identifying the current projects currently underway around the park:

As you may have experienced by now, the Williamsbridge Oval Playground is undergoing a vast amount of construction right now. Because of this construction, almost half of the park is off-limits to the public; the recreation center and its surrounding playgrounds have been dismantled and are being restructured. Unfortunately, completion of the new recreation center (details of its new amenities will be posted on the BD in the coming months) will be Spring 2011. But, the surrounding playgrounds are to be completed this coming Fall (late) 2010. Below is a plan of the playground areas sent to the Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval from the Department of Parks and Recreation:

After completion of Playgrounds 1 and 3, a new, improved dog run is to be constructed near the North entrance of the Oval Park:

The dog run plans were presented to the Friends of the Oval last August. The new dog run will be larger (than the current Oval dog run) with areas for both large dogs and smaller dogs. It will also have picnic tables and benches for people watching their dogs. Because of problems with the water lines in the Park, there will be no “Doggy Water Play” located in the dog run. The Parks’ Department is working very hard to install a dog-friendly water fountain in the Park near the dog run. Completion of this new dog run is scheduled for late Fall 2010.

Because of construction, the recreation center has been experiencing an increase in vandalism. I have seen many young adults break into the construction site, climb on the roof of the recreation center, and then thrown materials down. This is dangerous for the trespassers, wastes tax payers’ money, and prolongs construction. If you see anyone in the construction site (other than construction workers), please call the 52 precinct at (718) 220-5811 (I recommend having the number programed into your cell phones!). An increase in calls regarding any vandalism or the selling of illegal substances (alcohol, food without a permit, and drugs) on park grounds will only help convince the 52 that the Oval needs enforcement.

Also, the Oval Park is a beautiful park that is in need of community residents who will insist that the park be respected, cleaned, and maintained. Simply asking people using the Oval park to pick up after their dogs or to throw away their trash is a small victory in helping the Oval reach its potential. Please join Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval on facebook:

You can also contact the Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval via their website:

On Monday, August 23, Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval have organized a “Night Walk” to identify non-working lights in the Park. Please join us at 9 pm. We will meet inside the park near the Keeper’s Gate (the entrance at the north end of the park, across the street from the Keeper’s House, near Reservoir Pl.). Please bring cell phones, flashlights, pen and paper, and, of course, dogs are always welcome. The “Night Walk” should last less than an hour.

Thanks for the update and keep up the great work, FOWO!



Anonymous said...

There has been a problem with enforcement and lighting in the Oval for years. No one is asking for anything special here, just that our park be maintained as others are around the city.
I remember going to a meeting when my son was small at the Oval that focused on the problem with lighting and enforcement in the Oval. I also remember saying that I didn't want to see other moms dealing with this years from then. The kicker of course is that my son just turned 35.

Anonymous said...

Sally: I agree and FOWO are working hard to tackle problems of enforcement and lighting. Go to the FOWO's website and check out the video of the "Night Walk". As for enforcement, people need to attend the precinct meetings and badger the police for enforcement. There is no excuse for such a beautiful park being sooo neglected!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous and the activists of FOWO --

I applaud what you're doing. Its important work to do and it does make a big difference. The issue is not about making change -- its about making that change last.

We should not have to fight the same fight over and over again

The Parks Dept doesn't have enough resources and hasn't since the fiscal crisis of the '70s. No City Comissioner (except Police and Fire) wants to go to the boss and admit they can't make do with what they have. And no Mayor wants to say he needs more tax dollars to get the job done.(Trust me on this one -- I've worked at City Hall), and so the same problem returns periodically.

So the parks folks move resources from place, to place, to place, and communities need to fight the same fight again every 10 to 15 years.

That fight is very important, but so is the need for us to recognize that this happens in part when the loudest voices are saying that government is too big and too expensive.


Walter Tully said...

We must be really thankful and happy for in the local park officials are now doing their job in making a huge transformation in the Oval. These renovations will not only for their own benefit but for us guests as well. In my lovely hometown of Glendale, parks and recreations are regularly checked and maintained so that the parks in Denver, Colorado will attract more visitors and will be a safe place to go to.