Published: Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 8:48 p.m.
PALM COAST — Some pet owners have publicly suggested the dusty conditions at the city’s dog park lead to health problems for animals and people alike.
“I wish it were better,” said Jennifer Vanvalkenburg, a Palm Coast mother who brings her daughter and schnauzer to James Holland Memorial Park regularly. “(My daughter) plays here and then we go over to the dog (section) and we let our dog play. When I get home, she is covered in filth. It’s horrible sometimes.”
During the recent Palm Coast City Council meeting, one dog owner called the park a “dust bowl.” His $ 3,500 Doberman, he said, racked up a vet bill that exceeded $ 1,000 as a result of what the dog was breathing and rolling around in at the park, the man said.
Improvements are on tap for the park, said City Manager Jim Landon, including a better irrigation system so that grass can grow and survive in an area that’s mostly dirt.
Renovations have been made before at the facility at 18 Florida Park Drive. In April 2011, an effort was made to improve the park by putting in new concrete walkways, a double-gated entrance and better handicapped parking.
“We got a lot of accolades from a lot of the dog owners that used it,” said Landon during the meeting.
He acknowledged, however, that more improvements are needed. One critical step will be to provide a better water source. Putting new sod at the park without irrigation improvements would be a waste of money, he said.
“We’re asking for some patience from the dog owners because we know there
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