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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Learn More About Plans For A Dog Park At Winnemac Park During Wednesday Meeting

The 6 p.m. meeting is being organized by Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) after neighbors voted to set aside $100,000 in ward menu money for a dog-friendly area in that park.

Bearhug the dog out with his owners at a new Edgewater dog park in 2017.
Linze Rice
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LINCOLN SQUARE — Neighbors will be able to learn more about a proposed dog park at Winnemac Park during a public meeting Wednesday.

The 6 p.m. meeting is being organized by Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) after neighbors voted to earmark $100,000 in ward menu money for a dog-friendly area in the park, 5100 N. Leavitt St. Neighbors can register here to participate in the meeting.

“The dog-friendly area was just one of the ideas neighbors had over a multi-month period that was put on the ballot and then voted on,” Vasquez said. 

Some neighbors have requested a dog park there because they are unhappy with dog owners letting their pets run around the park without a leash, Vasquez said.

Reviews on website BringFido, which allows people to rate pet-friendly places, say the park is great for dogs but stress they must be kept on a leash. And Wag, an app for dog walkers, describe Winnemac Park’s 40 acres of greenery as a “mini dog park” but also stresses pets should be kept on a leash.

“A dog park there is potentially something of value to the community,” Vasquez said.

But committing ward money for a dog park doesn’t mean the proposal is a done deal, Vasquez said. The meeting will allow his office to get more neighborhood feedback as well as explain the Chicago Park District process to seek approval for a dog park.

“One step is neighbors have to create a committee in order for this to go forward with the park district,” Vasquez said. “I want to make sure we can help deliver it to them if the neighbors want it. But like everything else we do, I want to have a community process for this.” 

If neighbors decide to form a committee, the next steps include identifying where in the park the dog-friendly area would be installed, submitting an application to the Park District, gathering petition signatures in support of the dog park, submitting letters of support and conducting land survey studies, according to the Park District.

This is the second year the 40th Ward has hosted a participatory budget. Neighbors also voted to devote menu money for:

• $700,000 for the resurfacing of streets, sidewalks, alleys, curbs and gutters.

• $100,000 for a mosaic at Budlong Woods Library, 5630 N. Lincoln Ave.

• $91,000 for street lighting.

• $50,000 for tree planting.

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