“No” is one of the first words a dog hears in life and sometimes never learns. But for dog owners living in South of South, “no” is a word they hear all too often.
South Philadelphians love their dogs. A lot. So much so that some walk their four-legged friends 20 minutes each way to go to the Schuylkill River Dog Park, or Segar Dog Park – neither of which is actually in the neighborhood. Dog owners are barred from both Chew Park on 18th Street and Washington Avenue and Julian Abele Park on 22nd and Christian streets.
Tal Oxenberg, a resident of the 1900 block of Kimball Street in South Philadlephia, said he has to drive to the Schuylkill River Dog park to walk his dog.
“There’s not much parking there so I park in the loading zones,” Oxenberg said.
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But patient dog owners might finally get what they’ve been longing for.
Carpenter Green, at 17th and Carpenter streets, is the South of South Neighborhood Association’s (SOSNA) answer. Though the park is still in the design phase, early plans show a dog friendly area (not to be confused with a dog park, which is enclosed and intended for off-leash use). The park would add an estimated average of $10,000 in value to homes within a one mile radius of the park coupled with higher property taxes.
Perhaps more interestingly is the South of South Dog Owners Group (SOSDOG) has started petitioning for a full-fledged dog park to be built inside Chew Park. SOSDOG did not respond to requests for comment, but the project would be funded at least partially by the nonprofit organization. So far, 171 signatures have been submitted – 79 signatures short of their published goal.
But many residents don’t know where to sign the petition. When Oxenberg learned about the petition, he had just one question.
“Where do I sign?” Oxenberg asked.
– Text, video and images by Dan Hampton.