Status on SoWal dog park on JD Miller Rd | SoWal Forum - South Walton Florida
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Sun Chaser

Beach Lover
Aug 18, 2015
214
86
Miramar Beach
Heard today that the dog park may be closed? Something about it being a liability for the county? Anyone have any info on this?

I sincerely hope this park does not close. It's one of the best dog parks I have ever visited. And much needed in the southern end of the county.
 

leeboy

Beach Lover
Aug 19, 2015
84
31
Heard today that the dog park may be closed? Something about it being a liability for the county? Anyone have any info on this?

I sincerely hope this park does not close. It's one of the best dog parks I have ever visited. And much needed in the southern end of the county.
I may be off on details but it was county run and now run by Alaqua Animal Refuge. Maybe they lease from county and losing lease? Alaqua is undergoing change also...

Alaqua Unleashed
 

elgordoboy

Beach Fanatic
Feb 9, 2007
2,436
511
I no longer stay in Dune Allen
This is not good, not good at all. Personally I’d rather they closed the beach. I find this to be a bigger issue than the customary use crap. Call your county commissioners, call your state representative. Lord if you’re listening ..Heeeelllllppp! Seriously
 

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Songhunter

Beach Crab
Dec 23, 2019
1
1
59
Santa Rosa beach
Alaqua is relinquishing their lease. They get too many threats to be sued by people who like to ruin it for the rest of us. The county is supposed to take it over in three months, but because they refused to assist Alaqua in any upkeep costs they may or may not keep it open. It’s important to contact the county and let them know how important it is to keep this. Tourists love it too. For now the large back section is padlocked. So only the lower parks are open which makes it all a bit crowded if lots of dogs show up at the same time. This is not just good for dogs but the people of this community to come together.
 

Sun Chaser

Beach Lover
Aug 18, 2015
214
86
Miramar Beach
Alaqua is relinquishing their lease. They get too many threats to be sued by people who like to ruin it for the rest of us. The county is supposed to take it over in three months, but because they refused to assist Alaqua in any upkeep costs they may or may not keep it open. It’s important to contact the county and let them know how important it is to keep this. Tourists love it too. For now the large back section is padlocked. So only the lower parks are open which makes it all a bit crowded if lots of dogs show up at the same time. This is not just good for dogs but the people of this community to come together.

We that have enjoyed this unique park need to get organized. Perhaps we can form a committee/group that can operate it while the county retains ownership?

Ideas:
  • Charge somewhere around $40/50 per year like the beach permit and issue a tag similar to beach permit. All dog parents must produce proof of rabies vax. Owners would need to sign a liability waiver.
  • Install gates with coded entry.
  • Not sure how to accomodate tourists, but we need to. Maybe they can purchase a pass for the week at the TDC welcome center or the South Walton courthouse complex?
It will take citizens to keep this going.
 

DanaMarie

Beach Comber
Jun 22, 2016
35
43
Point Washington
I would love to help. I don't actually use the park even though I have a dog, but that's only because he gets a little too overstimulated when there are so many other dogs around. However, I'd still be willing to buy a permit or to make a donation towards upkeep. I think many dog owners around here (and there are a lot) would be willing to buy a pass.

Does anybody know what the annual maintenance cost is?
 

Sun Chaser

Beach Lover
Aug 18, 2015
214
86
Miramar Beach
Perhaps we could have an informal meetup at the dog park in the next week or so? Just to bounce around ideas? I will try and set up a fact finding meeting with Alaqua to see what issues they had; what was working and what was not working and to see what guidance they may have going forward. I think it would be best if a few people (rather than just one person) would be able to meet with Alaqua.

Ideas???
 

DanaMarie

Beach Comber
Jun 22, 2016
35
43
Point Washington
Sun Chaser, you have some great ideas. I would love to meet at the dog park and bounce around ideas. I am also available to meet with Alaqua with you and others if others are available. I think meeting with Alaqua for guidance before approaching the county is a great idea.
 

elgordoboy

Beach Fanatic
Feb 9, 2007
2,436
511
I no longer stay in Dune Allen
At the moment Alaqua is the one causing the problem. Everyone is encouraged to post here and have any concerned parties post here also. Sowal cannot be without a top notch dog park and when the back is open our dog park is certainly world class. Tourists are exuberantly complimentary on a weekly basis and as locals we know how important it is. Watching the dogs stare forlornly up top is heartbreaking, they don’t understand why they cannot go up. That said, I do not understand why I cannot go up. I imagine a Facebook group page will be up very soon for invites and info. Any assistance and information Alaqua is willing to share would be welcome as there are people ready to relieve Alaqua of this “burden”. Inquiries are being made through private channels and if anyone else is able to do so with anyone of authority at the county level or Alaqua please do so. We will get on the agenda at an upcoming county commission meeting soon. If “liability” is the issue why is only the nicest part of the park locked up? Yesterday the 26th of December in the afternoon there were close to twenty dogs in both the small and large dog section. These areas are too confining as is, much less when the pools of water are eliminating the use of half the area. And it does not dry up! Apologies for the digression, it’s a passionate topic. Specific info with specific actionable items will be posted tomorrow. Much appreciated and best of luck to us all, human and canine alike.
 
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