The Dog Park in Rio Nido has proven so successful that the folks at Russian River Parks and Recreation have decided to build another one on currently vacant Parks and Rec-owned land in Guernewood Park. Although the proposed dog park has generally been well-received, some Guernewood Park neighbors have expressed concern about the lack of adequate parking nearby to accommodate the potential influx of local dog lovers and their furry companions.
The new Dog Park may improve – or possibly exacerbate – a recent, ongoing problem for Guernewood Park residents. During a chance conversation with a Guernewood Park denizen at Safeway – our local social hub where the elite meet and greet – she mentioned that ever since the “No Parking” signs were erected in the Hacienda neighborhood of Forestville, increasing numbers of teenagers and young adults now gather around the site of future Dog Park in Guernewood Park and wreak all sorts of havoc at the nearby beach.
This is confirmed by other reports from recent visitors to this beach who – looking somewhat shell-shocked – vowed never to return. Their descriptions evoked visions of Daytona Beach during Spring Break, but with more mullets and generic beer in those kegs.. At first, I assumed that zealous neighbors had staged these shenanigans (folks do tend to get a tad protective of their neighborhood “secret beaches” around here), but on closer inspection, this formerly lovely stretch of river frontage does appear a tad shabbier these days.
The new Dog Park definitely has potential for providing a nice, shared community space to this already-charming neighborhood. Here in Rio Nido, the Dog Park has helped neighbors get to know each other better. Some now get together for regular play dates for their doggies the way doting parents do for their young children, and it appears that a new romance or two have blossomed as a result. I do hope that the folks in Guernewood Park – who have a Home Owners Association and generally seem to be cohesive and well-organized – can get together and incorporate their vision for the future of their neighborhood into the new Dog Park.