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Environmental group raises concerns about commissioner’s plan to build a waterfront dog park in Sarasota
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Environmental group raises concerns about commissioner’s plan to build a waterfront dog park in Sarasota

Environmental group raises concerns over commissioner's idea to build waterfront dog park in Sarasota

Lisa Lampel and Enzo, her dog, may soon have more places to stretch their legs in Sarasota.

It’s great to be outdoors. She stated that right now we need more fresh air.

There are currently only two dog parks in Sarasota. One is located at Gillespie Park, and the other at Arlington Park. Commissioner Hagen Brody said he would add more and hopes Sarasota becomes a top dog-friendly community.

“A lot of folks I’ve learned don’t like leaving their dog at home when they go out to the park or beach when they take their family out,” said Commissioner Brody.

After adopting Rudy, his dog from the Humane Society of Sarasota County recently, Commissioner Brody had the idea.

“I’m spending more time out with other dog owners at the dog parks and listening to their opinion of what’s lacking in the area for pet owners,” he said.

Ken Thompson Parkway, a section of South Lido Beach and a section on South Lido Beach could be possible waterfront locations. Audubon Florida is concerned about the possibility of a dog park being built anywhere on Lido Beach.

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“It’s great to have dog parks out there and I can see the appeal for a water dog park, but what would be best for the birds would be to not place the dog park where there are birds,” said Audrey DeRose-Wilson the director of bird conservation for Audubon Florida.

It is home to endangered birds such as black skimmers and least terns, as well as snowy plovers.

DeRoseWilson stated that “every piece of beach we have is really essential for these birds.”

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Commissioner Brody assured that environmental concerns would be taken seriously. He also said that he believes there is a solution that will make everyone happy.

Staff from the city are expected to have information on possible locations by spring.

Commissioner Brody stated that “We are already dog-friendly, but I believe the more amenities we provide for pet owners the better.” 

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