City to hold public meeting about potential improvements to Mutt Run dog park | News, Sports, Jobs

photo by: City of Lawrence

A map shows a connection that would link two existing segments of 27th Street, connecting the Youth Sports Complex to the Clinton Lake spillway, creating another point of access for the complex, the nearby dog park and the lake.

The Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department will soon hold a follow-up public meeting to further discuss potential improvements to the city’s Mutt Run off-leash dog park.

Last month, the city held a meeting and conducted a survey to gather input about potential improvements to Mutt Run, 1330 East 902 Road, as well the Riverfront Dog Park, 1594 N. Third St. The follow-up meeting will be held Wednesday and will share results from the survey and the earlier meeting, according to a city news release.

The survey asked residents to rank the importance of various potential improvements and additions to Mutt Run. Potential improvements included a larger shelter, parking lot additions, modern restrooms with flush toilets, heated restrooms for year-round use, an improved dog wash station, a new water play area for dogs, a new playground area for dogs, a fence to separate parking /road areas from off-leash areas, and a fenced area for smaller dogs separate from main off-leash area. Other potential improvements were additional mowed paths, benches, drinking fountains, bridges to cross creeks, concrete paths and additional entrance or exit points to the park.

The survey was completed by 335 residents, and those responses can be viewed under the closed topics section of the Lawrence Listens website, lawrenceks.org/listens. In addition to asking how important each potential improvement was, the survey asked residents to select the three potential improvements they considered most important. The three highest-ranked improvements, in order, were a fence to separate parking/road areas from off-leash areas, modern restrooms with flush toilets and a new water play area for dogs.

The survey also asked residents which dog park they used most often, and 92% of respondents said they visited the Mutt Run more often. Also, 39% of respondents ranked improvements to Riverfront Dog Park as either “important” or “very important.”

The survey did not ask about a proposal to extend 27th Street along the 100-acre Mutt Run park, which would require that the park be fenced; however, some respondents left comments against the project as part of the survey. The potential improvements to Mutt Run are not funded as part of the road project, and city staff has said improvements would come out of the Parks and Recreation Department’s budget. More than 1,300 residents have signed a petition asking the city to consider other options to address traffic congestion coming out of the nearby Youth Sports Complex, and the City Commission recently approved issuing a request for proposals to conduct community engagement on the topic.

At the meeting Wednesday, survey results will be reviewed and there will be a discussion regarding the top-ranked improvement projects, including costs and possible timeline, according to the news release. The meeting will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m. Wednesday and residents can join by either computer or phone. A link to register for the meeting is available in the news section of the city’s website.

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