Open The Grass, and Bring Back The Dogs!


The dream of a local community meeting place was realized shortly after the opening of Spring Street Park last year. It was by the many dog owners in the neighborhood who met each other as their dogs played and peed on the Great Lawn. I was one of the people aggravated by the lack of respect for the amount of work it took to get the park constructed, as careless owners let their dogs kill the lawn and run off leash. 

However, after the lawn had pretty much died, a fence was constructed around it for re-seeding and growing. That fence has remained around the lawn for months. In the mean time, the population in the park has shifted dramatically. From loft dwellers with their dogs, meeting and laughing, to homeless people looking for a quiet place to sit when they get woken up and moved early in the morning, and the drug dealers that prey on them. I've seen people shooting up, shitting in the bushes, random sex and even a death. 

It seems that the LAPD policy of "eyes on the street", really is a thing, and it really does work. The act of building community, even if it was at the expense of the grass, and altercations with some idiots, was actually the very thing making Spring Street Park a valuable part of the neighborhood. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that after looking great for a few months, the grass has once again started to die. This can't be blamed on dogs or their owners, because they haven't been allowed on the grass. So if it's gonna perish anyway, lets open back up the Great Lawn at Spring Street Park and get back to building a community in this amazing neighborhood. 

Showing 6 reactions

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  • Sb Assoc
    commented 2014-04-03 17:52:03 -0700
    Unfortunately, the real issue here is that this is simply a very poorly designed park. There could have been dirt space set aside for a dog run/play area AND a lawn for the non-dog owning community to both enjoy. Instead we have a big unused oval of concrete in the center surrounded by weird, immobile high backed metal and concrete “chairs” that are so uncomfortable that only someone used to sleeping on the street wouldn’t mind sitting on them for any length of time. The lawn is condemned to be a fenced off no-man’s land since if dog people use it, it dies, and non-dog people can’t use it without dog people being allowed to use it too. It’s also difficult to see what’s going on in all spaces of the park from the street, making it easy for those wanting to do their dirt out of sight. My vote would be to redesign with these considerations in mind and kickstart a new build.
  • Roundtwo Dtla
    commented 2014-04-02 05:33:32 -0700
    Hahaha we dog owners told you now beg for forgiveness
  • Josh Gray-Emmer
    commented 2014-03-31 14:51:15 -0700
    Let’s be clear – No one was forced out. Nothing happened, there was no legislation, no change in rules. The grass died, a fence was put up, it grew back. That was all done by Rec and Parks. Now the fence has STAYED up, for what reason? I have no idea. The grass is dying again. My point was simple, if the grass is gonna die anyway, might as well build some community on it’s grave.
  • Dylan O'Donoghue
    commented 2014-03-30 18:37:01 -0700
    I just want to be SUPER clear about this… It was just a few months ago that when many equal members of this community were bringing their pets, on leashes, to enjoy the park, and meet and greet one another there and interact, the park needed to “be saved from the dog owners”… But, now that you have forced most all of us to feel guilty/ashamed of bring OUR animals into OUR park, now you miss us? Now we are meant to represent an obvious majority of our community members? Now the large majority of us are meant to come and bring ourselves, and our dogs, back to breathe new life into the now neglected Spring St Park, so as to chase away the NEW element of less than desirable downtowners who have taken up our place in the park? Tssk, tssk, Josh. The people chasing all of these community members, and their dogs away last summer got what they wanted. You guys deal with the crack-heads and vagrants now… Us dog owners will be down in Grand Park.
  • April Bermudez
    commented 2014-03-30 18:11:50 -0700
    I’ve been saying all of these same things. As a dog owner and a member of the community, I hope that many others in the city agree and comprehend the points being made.
  • Martin Vasquez
    commented 2014-03-30 13:09:15 -0700
    You are an idiot but at least you admit it, good for you