Funding process for a Dog Park in the 4th Ward

Staff Writer

With a quest to bring the first ever Dog Park to the 4th ward, Ald. Sophia King (4th) and her staff have formed a committee to help develop a Dog-Friendly Area (DFA) for residents of the ward.

During a community meeting, July 18, held by King to discuss the matter, Claudine Malik, Project Manager for the Chicago Park District, said during her presentation that the minimum cost to build the dog park infrastructure would range from $150,000 to $200,000, “numerous factors further increasing the cost.”

Most of the community members in attendance seemed interested in having a dog park in the ward but were curious about the lofty cost.

“It’s a great idea,” said Karen Phillips, a Hyde Park resident and dog owner about bringing a dog park into the ward. “But I don’t understand the pricing of it being $150,000 to $200,000.”

According to the Chicago Park District’s website, residents are required to follow a six-step process in order to build a dog park in a Dog-Friendly Area.

Step one, form a committee: Creating a DFA in the Chicago Park District is a grass-roots operation. This is a long-term responsibility, which will require community support and dedication and an on- going commitment by all members of the DFA committee.

“DFA Committees are made up of a minimum of 5 people, and they are entirely voluntary the members are not appointed,” Malik said in a written statement.  

Step two, Identify a proposed DFA location: Residents are required to work with the Park Supervisor and Area Manager to choose the best location. They must confirm with the Park Supervisor that the Chicago Park District owns the specific location.

Step three, submit the application: Upon completion of Steps One and Two, the resident’s of the ward must submit an application (FORM #1) to the designated department.

Step four, identify funding: Residents of the ward must take the initial steps to locate funds that would help develop and operate the DFA.

The estimated construction cost of a DFA is $150,000. The DFA Committee is responsible for 100 percent of the cost of development of the DFA and 100 percent of the total project construction cost must be secured prior to the advancement of the design process. Amounts and percentages of the project are subject to change based on the scope of work.

After the necessary capital is raised for the dog park, residents are required to proceed to step five and six of the project that is submitting the proposal and construction and design. This completes the final phase of the project.
For more information contact the 4th Ward Office at 773-536-8103.