Members of the MacArthur Park Group are trying to spur interest in using MacArthur Park funds generated by the new Little Rock sales tax to create a new off-leash dog area.
According to Humane Society statistics, Little Rock is home to 50,000 dogs and only one off-leash dog park (Paws at Murray Park). But the MacArthur dog park is still in the early planning stages. According to Keith Canfield, the mayor-appointed Ward I representative on the Animal Services Advisory Board, the MacArthur Park Group is still trying to determine if there is enough interest to make a dog park top priority among MacArthur Park improvements.
There's a public organizational meeting Saturday, March 31 at 2 p.m. on the second floor of the MacArthur Park Museum to discuss the budget and overall concept and assign volunteer committees. Tentative plans include covered areas, fountains and doggie wading pools and even free wi-fi, but the amenities are subject to budget constraints. The park is slated to nestle in the angle of I-30 and I-630, along the park's western corridor.
Formed in 2006, MacArthur Park Group is a volunteer steering committee that works with the city's Parks and Recreation Department and the Downtown Partnership to raise money for MacArthur Park improvements. Three years ago, the group had a Minneapolis design firm asses MacArthur Park and draw up award-winning plans that now guide the group's projects. The dog park is among a three-part focus that also includes enhanced playgrounds and refurbishing a multi-court space used for soccer games and bike polo. Canfield said they're focusing on the dog park first because "it's relatively low cost and quick construction." The Group's goal is to begin work on the dog park sometime in 2012.