Mackle Park to go to the dogs

Sue Hewson speaks in favor of off-leash dog runs at Mackle Park during a council workshop Monday afternoon. 'They say not in our backyard, but this is not their backyard, it's public land, it's all of ours,' she said.
Kelly Farrell/ Staff

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff

Sue Hewson speaks in favor of off-leash dog runs at Mackle Park during a council workshop Monday afternoon. "They say not in our backyard, but this is not their backyard, it's public land, it's all of ours," she said. Kelly Farrell/ Staff

Ben Powell, a neighbor of Mackle Park, speaks out against the park as a location for off-leash dog runs at a Council workshop on the issue Monday. With a shout that brought Councilors to a visible attention-stance, Powell demonstrated the tone of voice dog owners use when calling their dogs. It was rather loud.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff

Ben Powell, a neighbor of Mackle Park, speaks out against the park as a location for off-leash dog runs at a Council workshop on the issue Monday. With a shout that brought Councilors to a visible attention-stance, Powell demonstrated the tone of voice dog owners use when calling their dogs. It was rather loud.

Marco's dog park plans first went before Council March 16 with separate fenced areas for big dogs and small dogs in the southwestern corner of Mackle Park.
Courtesy of City Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk

Photo by Courtesy of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk

Marco's dog park plans first went before Council March 16 with separate fenced areas for big dogs and small dogs in the southwestern corner of Mackle Park. Courtesy of City Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk

— Snarling over the location of a proposed off-leash dog park at a city council workshop Monday didn’t lead to a dog fight. However, several neighbors of Mackle Park said they didn’t like the idea of having a big dog area and a small dog area near their homes due to noise and smell.

Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk said he had confidence he could find a remedy to please most neighbors and dog owners.

“I will create a site plan showing opaque fencing and landscaping along the western boundary of the big dog park for buffer and noise abatement for the adjacent neighbors,” Milk said.

He added that slats could be weaved through the chainlink fence and thick vegetation slightly higher than the four foot to five foot barrier could add to the aesthetics.

Pat Wright, who lives near Mackle Park, said he opposed the location for the dog park but said the noise control and landscaping will be “critical” to satisfying about five skeptical homeowners nearby.

Milk said a committee chose Mackle Park because drinking water was already on-site and access to the location was already constructed.

The majority of the people in attendance at Monday’s workshop raised their hands in support of the plan. They were particularly pleased with the idea of limiting the commute to North Naples or Bonita Springs where the two closest dog runs currently exist.

An ordinance amendment allowing off-leash dogs in contained areas within Marco parks, a detailed site plan and collection of about $45,000 from dog owners are the final steps needed to bring the plan together. Handicap parking spaces near Lily Court, water fountains, canopy trees for shade and sitting areas are elements of the plan.

Milk said at a Parks and Recreation Committee meeting Tuesday afternoon that a resolution will be presented at the next Council meeting that will add to the ordinance which allowed on-leash dogs in city parks to specifically state a designated off-leash area in Mackle Park.

He said that dog registration to check for updated shots and gate fee are likely for the park.

A visit to Rover Run on Immokalee Road made Milk more comfortable with a dog run for Marco Island, he said.

Marco's area will be similar in size, perhaps slightly larger and less forested.

"The dogs were running around while the people sit and socialize. They're not barking and fighting," Milk said.

"This is going to be a great meeting place."

Deb Chapman said pledges for the proposed park are already coming in as of the parks meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Chapman received $1,500 with fencing donations likely, she said. That will be added to the city's Dog Park Fund set up by Milk. To donate to the fund contact Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk at City Hall, 50 Bald Eagle Drive, BMilk@cityofmarcoisland.com or 389-3903.

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Comments » 8

Smeg writes:

Looks like law suite time.

27_Year_Resident writes:

What the heck is a "law suite?" Do you mean law suit you imbecile? The city owns the land and can do whatever they please with it.

marcotime writes:

For all Marco "residents" who oppose this dog park....
Just sounds like because it doesn't fit into your perfect way of life others should not have any rights either. You chose to live in a home next to a "community" park, what did you expect? The key word here is "community". Aren't people who live in the community of Marco supposed to be nice to each other and treat others like neighbors? I just don't understand how someone has such a rotten life living in paradise that they have to bring others down to feel better about themselves and their way of life. I see this happen time and time again, from this dog park issue, to the Condo Association Gustapo crying about a light left on, etc etc. People do yourselves a favor and start living to the "Golden Rule".

I look forward to the day my dog runs in this park and brings a smile to your face by her silly antics, catching frisbees out of mid air, and rolling around in the grass. Think about how great her life is with no worries and having fun. Maybe you should think about the last time you felt that way!!

lngoslee writes:

I am delighted the council seems receptive to the Mackel Park dog parks. I have confidence Milk will develop a great plan for the landscaping next to the homeowners, as well as a park with a lot of shade so this will be an asset to everyone and not a noisy, smelling mud pit. This will be an asset to everyone on this island and make our island friendlier to a larger group of people who may wish to live here.

Smeg writes:

Dear 27 year residue,

Can we please meet somewhere.
Your choice.

sailing writes:

marcotime you are 100% right

27_Year_Resident writes:

Not sure you want to do that Smegma...would be VERY foolish on your part. Your spelling has already proven you're not too smart!!

Smeg writes:

Residue,

You're right.

Please accept my apology.

I'd still like to meet you.

Should I look for you at the big or little dog park? I expect to be at the little park most of the time.

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