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Problems Persist at Pricey Clarendon Dog Park

by Ethan Rothstein | May 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm | 4,687 views | No Comments

Maintenance issues continue to irk some patrons of James Hunter Park, the $1.6 million dog park at the corner of N. Herndon and 13th Streets in Clarendon.

A number of residents have complained to ARLnow.com about problems at the park since it opened last fall after a series of delays.

Most recently, the gate at the front of the park on N. Herndon Street was vandalized and had to be removed, according to Arlington Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Roberta Korzen. Parks staff hopes to have a new door in place by early next week.

In addition, the artificial turf in front of the park’s water feature is currently roped off because it had to be replaced. Korzen said the sand base underneath the turf “hadn’t been compacted to the degree it should have been.” The manufacturer is replacing the turf under warranty, which she said also should be done by the end of the week.

Many residents have complained that the large stone water feature hasn’t been working for months; Korzen said it simply hasn’t been turned on yet, and, like many other water facilities in Arlington parks, it will be turned on for the summer this weekend. The water fountains to fill up dog bowls work, but the ones intended for human water consumption were both not functioning early Wednesday afternoon.

These issues add to complaints of some residents when the park opened in October. Among those complaints were the dust raised by the “crushed stone” surface that comprises a majority of the surface area in the canine community area.

One park visitor ARLnow.com spoke to today said the lack of shade is her biggest issue. Her dog was huddled under a table, the only place for shade in the dog area. Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish told ARLnow.com when the park opened that “shade was quite a challenge for our design team.” Parks staff installed trees around the park with the hope that, “in time,” they will grow to provide shade.

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