The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

September 7, 2012

Our View: Barking up the right tree

— Joplin-area residents love their pets.

Now the city of Joplin is throwing dog lovers a bone.

The City Council on Tuesday approved an agreement with Mars Petcare, the maker of Pedigree dog food, to provide a portion of the cost of building a dog park at Parr Hill Park. There would be two fenced areas, one for small dogs and the other for large dogs, in the areas where the ponds were located before the May 22, 2011, tornado devastated the city park. That’s great news for residents who live in that area of Joplin.

Even before the tornado, residents of Joplin frequently mentioned a need for dog parks in town. The notion of dog parks for Joplin received support again in the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team plan that has been adopted by the city and will be used by the city’s master developer for tornado recovery projects.

While we’re on the subject of dogs, let’s talk about a need for more green space in downtown Joplin. Building owners are converting vacant spaces into loft apartments. That means more pet owners — and parents — are living downtown. Spiva Park provides a small place for man’s (and woman’s) best friend to stretch his legs, but building owners and the city could work together to create a dog park closer to the downtown area.

While a dog park may seem like a small thing, it’s a sign that city leaders are listening to their bosses — the taxpayers.

Next up? More sidewalks. They are a great mode of transportation for both man and beast.

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