Contact: Mia Hylan FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2012
The Mayfair Civic Association (“MCA”) is excited to announce the formation of the Mayfair Dog Park Committee headed by residents of Mayfair and dog owners, Megan Whalen and Michael Ennis. MCA President Joe DeFelice is very excited about the potential of this group to succeed in installing a fenced-in, off leash dog park for the residents and neighbors in Mayfair and the surrounding communities. Whalen cites the many dog parks formed in other parts of the city and the complete lack of officially sanctioned dog parks in the Northeast as a huge hole in the fabric of the Northeast Philadelphia community. "A neighborhood dog park in Mayfair is essential to the community. Many people consider their pets, especially dogs, as members of their family. The goal of this committee is to create a safe and well-maintained space for the dogs, where dog owners can meet and socialize with other like-minded and animal loving neighbors. It can only add to the appeal of the Mayfair, making it a more desirable place to live for residents of all ages." Added Ennis, "At the two informal meetings we held, we've have a wide range of age groups interested in this project; from young professionals, to families, retirees and city employees. We feel it is in the best interest of the area as a whole to see this project succeed. We see this dog park as an opportunity to bring all of our community together in a common space that will be used by not only our 2-legged friends, but our four-legged ones as well."
Ms. Whalen, Mr. Ennis, and MCA Communications Secretary Mia Hylan recently met with Barry Bessler, chief of staff at the Office of the First Deputy Commissioner of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department to discuss possible locations within Pennypack Park. Philadelphia Parks and Recreation recently merged with the Fairmount Park Commission who manages much of the open green space within the Mayfair community. Although the group is cautiously optimistic about finding a location that will be mutually beneficial to both the Mayfair community and parks system, there are still many obstacles that need to be addressed; the largest of which is fundraising enough money to install a 6 foot fence around the 2/3 of an acre to a full acre of ground, which is the recommended amount of space for a dog park.
Mr. Bessler also stressed to the group the importance of community support and interest. "Based on the interest we saw at the Mayfair Dog Park table at the Mayfair May
Fair, where we held a doggie treats bake sale and a Dog Pageant, we were very encouraged by the community. This project may take awhile to get off the ground and we're asking neighbors with dogs, general animal lovers, or just neighborhood proponents to get involved by joining our Facebook page at Mayfair Dog Park or by emailing us at email@example.com. For now, this will be the primary form of organizing meetings and communicating progress." said Hylan. "The amount of interest in this project is going to be one of the greatest gauges of whether we will succeed in actually installing a dog park somewhere in the neighborhood."
Within the next couple of weeks, Whalen and Ennis plan on scheduling another more public meeting to discuss fundraising ideas, the eventual establishment of a 501c3, establishing a bank account, and narrowing down some of the options presented by Mr. Bessler for potential locations. They also plan on doing some door-to-door visits and grassroots outreach to neighbors and dog owners to generate more interest in the cause.
This formation of the Mayfair Dog Park Committee helps to accentuate the many positive things that continue to happen in Mayfair and is just another reason that Mayfair is a great place to live, work and play.************************