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Pico Rivera Proposing Community Dog Park

By Brian Hews

April 9, 2022 ~ Over the past year, Pico Rivera has been struggling with the realization that over 100-acres of park space will be lost due to the massive Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Modification Project. 

As a result of this crisis, Pico Rivera officials have been proactively identifying opportunities to enhance existing parks and develop new parks within the city. 

However, locating enough open and available land is very difficult, but things are looking up.

This past February, the city was awarded a $1 million grant to purchase and transform the under-utilized Montebello Bus Depot into the PAD Park – the Passons Active Depot – a space dedicated to passive recreation and active transportation. 

Additionally, less than a week ago, city officials celebrated the grand opening of the Roldan Futsal Pitch and Outdoor Basketball Court, constructed on existing and unused park space at Pico Park.  

While these proposed and new recreational amenities are welcomed, appreciated and needed in the community, there is one amenity that the community has been requesting for years, a park dedicated to that best of friend, the dog.

For over a decade, community members have been advocating for a dog park in the city. Feasibility studies have been conducted, but the city has had a “ruff” [pardon the pun] time finding a suitable space for a dog park; that is until now.

City officials have recently identified a few parcels of land suitable for a dog park. This specialized use will complement the city’s park portfolio without compromising existing park space for sports and other forms of recreation; the news will be welcomed by dog owners and the walking community alike. 

“Our City Council has been working diligently with residents, stakeholders, and staff to get to this point,” said Pico Rivera Mayor Dr. Monica Sanchez, “it’s exciting to know that we’re closer than ever to making a dog park in Pico Rivera a reality. We look forward to presenting conceptual designs to the community soon so we can capture and incorporate their feedback.” 

The name selected for this dog park will be The Pico Rivera Alebrije Dog Park, a name that pays homage to the city’s strong ties, both past and present, to the Mexican-American culture. 

The new park “will merge elements of a traditional dog park with the creative and artistic world of Mexican “alebrije” folklore. As the overarching theme for the dog park, alebrijes will be used as an adaptive approach to educate the public about local wildlife and natural habitats; to strengthen the bonds between humans and canines; to improve the overall physical health and mental wellness of all dogs and their owners; and lastly, to inspire the use of culturally-infused art into the next generation of dog park designs.”

With over 7,500 active dog licenses in the city, the Alebrije Dog Park will be an amenity that dog owners from the city and surrounding communities will be able to enjoy. 

Many dog owners will appreciate the benefits of having a local dog park, including pet socialization, and fresh air; their dogs will enjoy running without a leash. 

In addition to the dog park area, a small walking path will be constructed so residents can use the space to walk safely and enjoy some outdoor exercise. 

Even though the city has the double whammy of limited park space, – which will be limited even more by the Whittier Narrows Dam project – city officials say they are committed to researching new and innovative ways to provide more park space to promote healthy lifestyles, even for your pets!

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