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Open Grass Does Not Equal Dog Park

By Hanna Aronovich in Miscellaneous on Oct 25, 2006 12:35PM

Most dog owners in the city can sympathize with the problem of not enough parks and grassy spaces. However, memorial parks aren’t an equal substitute. vietnam1.jpg

The Tribune reported the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza between State and Wabash has recently become a dog-walking spot. The plaza is intended for reflection, not for dogs to relieve themselves, and Ald. James Balcer pushed for signage to make that clear.

Although the plaza was dedicated in 2005, Balcer told the Tribune the dogs weren’t a problem until recently. Now, five signs are up to remind owners of the 17,000-square-foot plaza’s purpose: to pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 Illinois veterans who were killed or disappeared during the war.

"Now people can clearly see that this is a memorial and respect it and honor those 2,943 Illinoisans who served this country," Balcer said. "The reason I got so mad is because people should have already known this was a memorial."

At each of three entrances and along the river, the signs say: "In honor of our fallen veterans we ask that no dogs be allowed in the Vietnam memorial."

Bicyclists and skaters are also asked to keep out, although Balcer says eating lunch in the plaza – as many office workers did during the summer – is fine.

We agree that dogs and owners should respect the memorial, but additional dog parks couldn’t hurt either.

Image via City of Chicago.