Wednesday, March 12, 2014
ANOTHER PARK IN PERIL?
The Secret Park is just three miles from Coconut Grove. There are no signs directing you there. You stumble upon it or are told by a friend. It's about 20-acres of spacious wonder, open land surrounded by trees.
In years past you had to walk, bike, or park blocks away. You jumped a gate warily passing "no trespassing" signs. You basked in this country setting while hoping no one threatened arrest.
Two years ago a small miracle happened. The gate was opened with signs adding, "Keeps Dogs Leashed" and "Closed At Sunset".
Now we were not only allowed but welcomed. Friendly people brought friendly dogs. It became the greatest dog park ever. It even has two ponds for dogs aquatic.
The only thing that could destroy this bucolic meadow was success, becoming known to many.
Most folks kept the secret.
Two months ago Francesca, Pi, and I saw changes beginning to happen. On a Sunday evening there were not the usual dozen cars but five times that. While most of the dogs and their owners were well-behaved, one canine was a bit aggressive.
I saw very few on leashes. We let Pi run free when she had two acres to herself. this makes for a very happy dog!
Last week someone put up a hand-lettered sign that said, "You can no longer bring dogs here. Take them to Chapman Field Dog Park (a small spot by the bay where a friend said he saw a dog-loving crocodile). The sign was removed a few days later.
The Secret Park is very special. I hope we have the good sense to keep this bucolic treasure. If you've been there, you know it's too good to lose.
The solution could be as simple as enforcing a few necessary rules,
"Twenty cars max", "Keep your dog under control", and "Leave by sunset".
That could work. We could keep the Secret Park for years to come.