Truckee resident begins push to create town’s first dog park
May 2, 2016
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Truckee has lots of dogs and dog lovers. What Truckee doesn't have is a dog park.
While some dog owners feel the open space of the Sierra is plenty of room for dogs to roam, other residents are doing their best to get a dog park built in Truckee.
A dog park is a fenced area with grass, water and seating areas for people. It is big enough for dogs to run free and fast without worrying about them having a negative confrontation, and it allows for socialization with other dogs.
Currently, the closest dog parks to Truckee are in Tahoe Vista and Tahoe City.
"We have athletic dogs like our athletic people," says dog park proponent Nova Lance-Seghi, of Truckee. "But we can't all take them for long walks every day. We have work schedules, and the dogs still need to get energy out. We have elderly, disabled and ill people who still need to get exercise for their dogs.
"And every dog doesn't have good off-leash recall, yet they need a place to exercise and socialize."
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Lance-Seghi says dog parks are not intended to replace the joy of taking your dogs for walks in the woods — rather, they are just a supplement.
If you only have a short amount of time, a dog can still get a great workout. She also says that it is a social opportunity for people to meet other people with dogs.
"Like a playground is for parents of small children," she said.
A PLACE TO RUN FREE?
Truckee bike racer Sian Turner Crespo has four huskies that like to run.
"The nature of the breed (is) stubborn and hard to train. At the same time, they need a lot of exercise," Crespo said. "I'm always looking for a place they can run free."
So when Crespo heard about Nova's efforts to bring a dog park to Truckee, she lent her support.
"Every city in the Bay Area has a dog park," she said. "Not everyone can run 10 miles with their dogs. It is great to have a place for them to run free and play with other dogs," said Crespo, adding that her dogs' behavior improves when they get to socialize with other canines.
Lance-Seghi started a Facebook page (Truckee Dog Park Project) to provide updates and gather support, and she's working with the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District on the project.
"At this point it is just an idea," TDRPD General Manager said earlier this month. "The Board has talked about it in the past. I met with Nova and we took a look at potential sites."
Meanwhile, Lance-Seghi is busy doing the research to make it happen: Looking into potential locations, finding out what kinds of issues the town of Truckee might have as far as regulations — and, of course, figuring out the cost of building a park in Truckee.
"I don't think it is real pricey," said Randall, "but we haven't done a park before."
Randall says it is important for the TDRPD to get a sense of how much public interest there is before staff and the board can proceed.
"The Board and I like community involvement," he said.
Lance-Seghi is circulating a petition to gather dog park supporters to take to the TDRPD board, and is asking those who are interested in helping with the project to join the Facebook group.
Visit change.org/p/truckee-truckee-dog-park-project to see the online petition, or find hard copies around town.
"I do think it is a good idea," TDRPD Board Member Peter Werbel said this month. "Especially as the population keeps expanding and growing. Extremely large numbers of people are using the Legacy Trail, but other people who are not as athletic would rather have a park.
The ones I've seen in Europe work amazingly well. They are a great social gathering of people and dogs. I'm absolutely for it."
The TDRPD Board of Directors meets for its April monthly meeting starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the Truckee Community Recreation Center, 8924 Donner Pass Road.
There is nothing on the meeting agenda about a dog park, but residents may want to utilize the meeting's public comment section to provide feedback.
Tim Hauserman, a nearly lifelong resident of Tahoe City, is a freelance author and cross-country ski instructor. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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