The city’s largest dog park reopened this weekend after a $2.4 million renovation, and San Francisco pups are wagging their tails over it.
Thanks to a $2 million grant from the California State Natural Resources Agency, the Golden Gate Park Dog Training Area near 37th Avenue and Fulton Street has had its first remodel in roughly 60 years, with new features such as a pet drinking fountain, wildlife-proof trash containers and better fencing.
Assemblymember Phil Ting, who helped secure the grant along with former District 1 Supervisor Sandra Fewer, says open spaces like these are essential for the community to safely gather during this time.
“I’m proud to have secured state funding for the Golden Gate Park Dog Training Area renovations to ensure people and pets alike can enjoy this beloved playground for generations to come. With the work finally done, the grand opening is simply ‘pawsome’,” Ting said in a statement.
The main play areas are made up of sand, with eucalyptus trunks and boulders nestled in the surface to act as agility equipment. The park’s layout was designed with the help of community meetings and surveys.
Steffen Franz, dog park attendee of over 25 years and president of the Friends of Lafayette Park Board, said he shared his insights from Lafayette Park’s renovations at three of the meetings.
“When Supervisor Fewer made [the renovations] a priority I thought, ‘How can I support this wonderful doggie Disneyland?’, and so it began,” Franz said.
Franz said that saying he was ecstatic about the renovations would be an “understatement,” given that The City has few off-leash dog areas to begin with. He looks forward to bringing his dog Aroux out to the park he brought his previous pets to for years.
“In those days, as dilapidated as it was, it was still such a special place for both my last two dogs,” Franz said. “If we rented a car or had family in town, and there was any way to get out to 36th Avenue, we looked for opportunities to go out there for an afternoon.”
Lisette Aguilar, proud dog mom of Dego the pug, says they’re both excited about the renovations. The new split between small and large dog play areas means safer fun for small pups.
“Dego is gonna have so much fun sniffing and meeting new dogs and people,” Aguilar said. “We are so thrilled for this new development that SF Parks has done and cannot wait to visit it soon.”
The Friends of the Golden Gate Park Dog Park encourage community pet owners and dog lovers to work together to keep the space maintained for generations to come. Check out the Facebook group here.
“We’re thrilled by everyone at Rec and Park’s hard work and for the support of the city, particularly former supervisor Fewer for making this new park a reality,” Alex Strachan and Nina Hwang of the Friends of the Golden Gate Park Dog Park said in a statement.