Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Rise of the Off-Leash Citizen Advisory Council

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Rise of the Off-Leash Citizen Advisory Council

Article excerpt

For years, in Charlotte, IM.C., dogs and their owners met at the park next to the Mint Museum to let their dogs play and catch up on neighborhood news. Stricter enforcement of leash laws led to the formation of a group called FiDO-Carolina (Fellowship in Dog Ownership). FiDO put together a proposal for an offleash dogpark and began raising money to help build Charlotte's first dogpark. It took four years, but in 2002, the off-leash dogpark opened to the public (and to 500 dogs on the first day).

A second, larger park followed in the summer of 2003. At this point, residents in different areas of the county all wanted an off-leash area in their district. In order to help streamline the process, FiDOCarolina and Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department Director Wayne Weston discussed the possibility of an advisory council to address the needs of the growing number of dog owners in the community.

This past summer, the Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation Commission approved the creation of an Off-Leash Dog Area Advisory Council (OLDAAC). This council of nine appointed citizens is chaired by one of the park commissioners. …

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