Bull Moose Dog Run Up for Renovation; Special Focus on ‘Ponds’ and Small Dogs

By Alex Israel

A popular dog run is expected to get an upgrade that will keep massive puddles from forming when it rains, and create a new protected area for small dogs.

During a meeting on October 16, Community Board 7’s Parks & Environment Committee discussed the plans to renovate the Bull Moose Dog Run for the first time in about 20 years.

The Department of Parks and Recreation presented the new $440,000 plan, which is paid for by grants from City Council District 6 Representative Helen Rosenthal and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. The renovation will aim to provide ADA access and seating, fix issues with current drainage, create additional protection for trees, and reconfigure a separate area for small dogs.

If approved, construction would tentatively begin in a year and half. While their timelines may overlap, the Bull Moose Dog Run renovation is said to not be in any way reliant on the Museum of Natural History’s upcoming Gilder Center project. Though Department of Parks & Recreation Landscape Architect Whitney Talcott suggests a project with a footprint this small is likely to take less than the time allotted, he estimates about a year’s worth of construction.

Talcott and his colleague Katherine Bridges both touted modern rain garden technology as a major improvement for the park, which is currently prone to ‘ponding’ (as seen in the slide at right).

While many members of the community, including members of the Bull Moose Dog Run Association, expressed their excitement, some voiced concerns they felt were unaddressed in the proposal—namely around quieting the acoustics of the park, which are amplified by the wall of the adjacent Museum.

“We can’t be considered an afterthought,” said Steve Anderson, President of the West 81st Street Block Association, whose sentiment was echoed by Peter Wright, Friends of Roosevelt Park President. They both referenced the 2013 Community Board resolution that named the noise abatement as one of the major goals of the renovation project, for which a solution was not proposed in the new plan.

Additional concerns included the lack of a temporary alternative for off-leash during the renovation, as well as issues with current lighting fixtures and the types of waste management receptacles in the park.

While community members hoped to compel the Parks Department to redistribute the funds to address the items not included in the proposal, or delay a resolution until such items could be assessed further, Committee Chairperson Klari Neuwelt disagreed. “I am not keen on asking the city to look for more money … I am keen on seeing where the dog run users can raise money for such additional amenities.”

While expressing disappointment in their failure to address elements of the 2013 resolution, ultimately Neuwelt proposed a resolution to accept the plan as presented by the Department of Parks and Recreation, with the request that they consider all of the concerns addressed, and provide an estimate for an addition that solves the acoustics issue.

The resolution will be voted on during the next Full Board Meeting on November 8, 2017.

The parks department’s entire presentation is below.

M053-118M_2017-10-16_CB7_Committee Review.pdf by westsiderag on Scribd

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 13 comments | permalink
    1. Dan says:

      Those puddles are part of the UWS fabric and we need to save them! Vote “No” on this renovation that is clearly a ploy by greedy developers to swindle all of the life long New Yorkers here.

      • Halal That Jazz says:

        I was kind of hoping our next dog run would be a 90 story luxury tower built on public parkland and swarming with tourists. I was really hoping that NYC tax payers could put up 100 million or so to see it made.

        This is really disappointing.

    2. your neighbor says:

      @WSR –
      Can’t figure out from the article:
      Are the people who live on W81st upset about the noise coming from the dog park or are the dog owners the one’s pushing for noise abatement?

      • Diana the dog lover says:

        I think the W81 folks are upset with the noise. If you can live there then you are rich enough to get sound proof windows..

        Or better yet, does this mean that the noise from buses and cars are okay? Give me a break.

      • Alex says:

        Hi! It was primarily people who live on 81st pushing for the noise abatement, but dog owners from the community were in agreement that the barking at the park can get out of control because of the amplification from the museum wall. All were looking for a solve for this. Hope this answers your question!

    3. BillyNYC says:

      it’s about time I watch them build this fat 20 years ago and they had under water drainage for irrigation and never work because the pipes the first year froze and cracked that whole area is so infested with bacteria/ mosquitoes/ticks/ flies/fleas etc. is a very I’m healthy place for the dogs to go and that comes from my veterinarian who told me never to go into the dog run because most of his customers come from problems in that dog run.
      Ever since that dog run has been neglected my veterinarian business has increased by 35%

    4. Christine E. says:

      This was built badly by the Parks Dept (20 years ago according to BillyNYC), neglected for years by the Parks Dept (who does not remove broken glass, fix fence holes through which my dog has escaped, remove dead tree limbs instead just putting up perpetual caution tape, or resolve mosquito-breeding standing water preferring instead to spray us with nerve gas poison), and now will be rebuilt by the Parks Dept, with no mention of any maintenance plan by the Parks Dept. Huh?? I am not complaining about the plan or funds (obviously something must be done about the public health hazards) but the execution has its flaws — who is watching the Parks Dept?

    5. UWS Liberal? says:

      Seriously, it seems there are a group of residents on 81st who just want to complain… The hotel being used as a shelter (it’s called caring for our brothers), the creation of an educational facility on the museum (it’s called educating the next generation), a renovation (and hopeful improvement) of the dog park (improving our neighborhood). Here’s something to complain about, the double parking on 81st when THEY (the complainers) unload their groceries or head out for the weekend… Give me a break, you embarrass yourself.

      • BillyNYC says:

        this is so true that’s all they do on W. 81st St. but….complain…meanwhile they now have a homeless shelter next-door to the building that was the biggest complainer on the entire block 35 West 81 Street that never stop complaining and they’re still complaining today and now they’re sitting right next-door to a homeless Shelter hotel… it serves them right !!! LOL

    6. Oona says:

      Ever since I remember that dog was filthy. At one time it was covered with lots of little stones but they only added to the gastly stench which permeated the Run. The dogs there are exercise in an environment which is not healthy. The little dog run is a total joke and mostly unused as it was too small and almost always in shade. It would be wonderful if there were a real dog run there which there could be, if it were built in a different location perhaps running along the Columbus Avenue side of the Museum which would solve the noise problem as well as allowing large and small City dogs to really run and get exercise…

    7. BillyNYC says:

      When it was first on the planning board to have the dog run in the Roosevelt Park on W. 81st St. in 1996 we had many of arguments at community 7 with the neighbors on West 81Street and the main argument was noise and the smell. There were suggestions of having it moved to W. 77th St. on the northwest corner inside the Teddy Roosevelt Park… But the W. 77th St. Bock Association Was very strong back then and it was quickly rejected.
      If the neighbors on W. 81st St. were a little bit kinder and not upfront of what they paid for there apartments or what there going for… It would’ve been a little more easier to find a better solution but because of their sarcasm it was quickly approved were the dog run is now.
      I also remember that the neighbors on W. 81st Street would have the park dept. police come every night to lock the gates into Roosevelt Park at 1 AM in the morning after the renovation of the park was completed in 1997. They also complained during the day because people would have their dogs off leash before 9 AM and after 7 PM. That is why you see signs posted on the Iron fences around the park, there still up there from back then…
      I like to bring this to your attention since were talking about the Roosevelt Park… this has always annoyed me … I brought this up at the meeting at community board 7 and they gave me back this answer. “Roosevelt Park is a public park and is open to everybody” and I said… “what is the reason of having iron fences around the park if you can’t go in to enjoy the park and sit on the grass”…and their answer was… “You can go in and sit on the grass if you can climb over the fence…” I suggest that we remove the fencing and let the children and the people sit on the grass with their pets and as long as the pets are leashed and give it back to the people. It was the block Association on W. 77th St. that was run by Hitler tactics rejected us from us sitting on the grass and had the entrance gates to the Roosevelt park sealed.. if you walk by the iron railing on W. 77th St. you’ll see 2/3 entrance gates into the grass “welded sealed” keeping us from entering the lawns. The president of the W. 77th St. Block Association died five years ago, thank god! This is a true story and the person at community Board 7 can confirm this who would be Penny Ryan! I was at everyone of those meetings and fighting with that guy who is the president of the W. 77th St. block Association.
      It’s time to give the park back to the people! Open the Gates!!!!!