The Normal Heights Community Association, with support from the Adams Recreation Council (and the city's Park and Recreation Department), the Normal Heights Community Planning Group, and the Adams Avenue Business Association worked for nearly a year to have an off-leash dog park established at Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park.
The effort kicked off in 2015 with a "Mid-City Unleashed Rally" on Sunday, February 15, and almost 2000 signatures were signed on petitions over the following months. District 3 councilman Todd Gloria appropriated $22,000 in funding for an interim park that opened officially on February 13, 2016 — 363 days from the date of the kick-off rally.
About three dozen dogs and their owners attended, and Gloria cut the celebratory ribbon to cheers and applause.
According to Ron Ferrero-Pham, president of the community association, a number of "modifications to the original plans included an increased setback, changes to fencing material and height, the addition of trash bins and baggy dispensers, upgrades to the mulch ground cover, and [shaded] seating" provided by two pergolas.
Ferrero-Pham says the park is years away from completion, for still to come are a permanent off-leash dog park, a community garden, a new police substation, and relocated basketball courts; these features have already approved by the Park and Recreation Department.