June 10, 2019 By Christian Murray
A dog run is likely to be installed at L/CPL Thomas P. Noonan Playground and a meeting is being held Tuesday to provide the public with an opportunity to offer input.
The meeting has been scheduled for 5 p.m., Tuesday at the Sunnyside Library and is being organized by the Parks Department and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s office. The discussion will not strictly be about a dog run, although that will be a major component of the meeting.
The concept that a dog run is likely to come to Noonan Playground is a surprise to many. It comes about 10 months after Van Bramer announced that he had secured $2.5 million of city funds to revamp the Greenpoint Avenue/42nd Street section of the park.
Van Bramer said Monday that he wants a dog run to open in the park.
“I have made it clear to the Parks Dept. that I’d like to see a dog run included in the renovations. A dog run is much needed for our Sunnyside community and our four-legged friends. I look forward to hearing more about community members’ visions for the park and what else they’d like to see in the final plans,” Van Bramer said.
Rick Duro, president of the Sunnyside United Dog Society, said he is pleased to see that a meeting is being held but was surprised that no one at SUDS was officially contacted. He said that he only heard about it through a community board member midway through last week and didn’t even know a dog run was planned for Noonan at all.
“I’m going to be at the meeting to make sure there isn’t another debacle like at Doughboy Park,” Duro said, referring to the Woodside run that has been criticized by local dog owners for allegedly being too small. That run has yet to open.
Duro said that he has been trying to get the word out via the SUDS Facebook group about Tuesday’s meeting.
He said that SUDS needs to be part of the process, since it knows what the pitfalls are and what works. “The run needs to be done right, with the right surface, lighting, shade and water access.”
He said that for a dog run to be successful, it needs a group of people who will help clean it and guide people to use it properly.
The revamp and likely dog run will represent phase three of the overhaul of the park. In 2015, the playground was expanded and upgraded, and in 2016 the basketball courts and handball courts were resurfaced.