Dog park has some Council support
A tentative location has been selected for Burleson's first dog park.
The concept will soon be presented to City Council, and upon approval could be ready by sometime in 2017, Burleson's Director of Recreation and Lifelong Learning Marc Marchand announced Thursday during a Connect With Council meeting.
"When you have a project like this that is resident driven, it is a whole lot more fun," Marchand said. "We prefer not to make decisions in a vacuum."
The proposal to City Council would include options on a location and potential elements of the dog park. The concept was driven by several members of Burleson's Park Board.
"I've visited three dog parks," City Councilman Ronnie Johnson said. "I've seen one in Fort Worth. I think Burleson's will be nice, just maybe not as large."
He's also seen a dog park in West, during a trip he made to follow a high school basketball team coached by his daughter.
"I think ours will be larger than that one, but to me it had all the elements you want in a dog park," Johnson said.
City Councilman Dan-O Strong pronounced that Johnson has been a leader in pursuing a dog park for Burleson residents.
Johnson and Strong enjoyed a laugh when someone in the audience asked "who is Ronnie Johnson," because he's so well known as a Burleson ISD coach, BISD trustee, owner of the legendary Dairy Twin and now as a city councilman.
"The fun things for dogs do not look that expensive to have," Johnson said.
A poll of residents found that 56 percent would favor a dog park. The poll asked opinion on a variety of items related to parks and recreation interest.
Residents learned Bailey Lake improvements could be complete by early 2017 and the idea for a skateboard park could be considered.
"A skateboard park is sort of like a Starbuck's for kids," Strong said. "It is not just about skateboarding. We try to understand what our younger residents would like and take a look at those projects. It's their city too."
Another idea developed from that comment. One younger resident suggested that perhaps the city could look at a 9-hole, par-3 golf course that would provide access for more to play the game.
Johnson recalled traveling from town to town in his youth playing the par-3 circuit.
"I've met some of my best friends playing on courses like this," he said.
The city operates Hidden Creek Golf Course, a traditional 18-hole golf course.
Many projects have merit and City Council supports them, Strong said, but he warned of seeking immediacy.
"We're in an instant society where we want something tomorrow," Strong said. "It's unfortunate, but there are bureaucratic roadblocks – not by our own doing – but they do slow the progress we can make."