Templeton Off Leash Dog Park Update
The following email was sent by Paula O’Farrell, who’s part of the group of amazing volunteers who got the Heilmann Off Leash Dog Park in Atascadero up and running and now have the beautiful new dog park in Templeton chugging along. If you have a chance, pay it a visit. It’s lovely and will keep getting lovelier as the trees grow and the shrubs shrub. Great site, great bunch of people making good things happen. So stopby SLO Animal Services and adopt a dog, then take a drive out to Templeton Dog Park for a romp.
It's hard to believe that our beloved dog park will soon be celebrating a 6-month anniversary. We have accomplished a lot in a short period of time thanks to hard-working volunteers and generous donors. Many of you often tell me how much this park means to you. I feel the same.
Some of you are concerned about our financial status so here's an update. Currently, we owe $3,867 on our park construction. Of that amount, about $2,700 was paid in the last two months for park landscaping, plumbing, and construction of our gorgeous new kiosk. We had some big bills including $500 to hook us up to the water meter and install a back flow device . Our landscaping, although newly planted, makes our park a real jewel.
We have a $5,000 credit line from our host organization, SLOPOST and this must be repaid by February 2010. I'm confident that we'll be able to retire this debt with our upcoming fundraisers (see below) and 2010 February membership renewals. All in all, we've done very well especially in this sour economy.
Our construction projects are starting to wind down (thank God!). Here's what we're working on:
* Installing a swim area towards the back (near the tool shed) of the park. With the help of community service workers, we're framing an 8' x 8' x 1' deep drainage pit which will be filled with gravel. We'll use this area for our shallow kiddy wading pool which we'll put out on Saturdays and Sundays through the summer. Many of you tell me that you visit the park every day and dealing with a wet dog 7 days a week would be a challenge. We're also mindful of the drought and want to be conservative of our water use. And of course, we have to pay our water bill which so far is not onerous.
* Installing a sponsor kiosk near the main entrance outside the dog park. This kiosk will hold sponsor plaques for donors who have generously donated $150 or more to our park. We will sell advertising space on this kiosk ($125 per year) to local businesses for add'l park revenue. This kiosk is an Eagle Scout project so we won't have any out-of-pocket expenses for this. This should be completed by the end of summer.
* Installing a fenced enclosure around our dumpster and green waste bins. The neighbors have asked us to do something to cover up these receptacles. It would be nice to have a locked area to discourage illegal dumping in our green waste bins which has been a problem from the beginning. This is another Eagle scout project and hopefully completed before the end of summer.
* Installing gate entry plaques for our donors of $500 or greater. I rec'd the plaques this week and will hopefully have a mounting solution for them in the next week or so.
We've had some amazing donations in the last month that I want to acknowledge:
* Lindamar Industries of Paso Robles has donated 50,000 plastic bags to our dog park and committed to supplying them for us whenever we need them. This represents about a $2,500 annual donation. You'll notice that we have switched our dispensers from the roll of bags to single sheet bags. We'll continue to use the bag rolls in our hard-to-reach dispensers that we monitor on the Salinas River Trail (thank you Carolyn!). I encourage you to bring your own plastic bags to recycle; you can stuff them in the wire dispensers located under the shade structure and behind the park umbrellas.
* Steve Roehrenbeck of Private Design donated plants and volunteered his services for our wine barrel plantings that are spectacular right now in their dazzling colors. He also has provided guidance in planting many of our shrubs and trees. He's been a delight to work with and incredibly knowledgeable. If you have a landscaping project at home or at your business, I highly recommend him.
* Bob Wandruff has donated countless hours in building our new park kiosk. It gives our park a real identity with an essential way to communicate with park visitors.
* Bill Hall donated supplies and his plumbing know-how to install all of our faucets and fix a few problems. Plumbers are expensive so this was a huge gift.
* Ranger Jim Hickok and County Park Staff have offered community service workers to us on a regular basis to help us on some of our bigger tasks. They helped us move wood chips, install a back flow device, remove trees, and countless other tasks.
I hope you'll mark your calendars for our upcoming events:
Sunday, August 23rd, 9 am - 10:30 am Coffee Social at Vineyard Dog Park. We'll be celebrating our 6-month birthday and toasting our new kiosk, and you can also make a reservation for Dog Splash Days. It's a great time to connect with other dog owners after a busy summer.
September 11-13, 3rd Annual Dog Splash Days at Templeton Community Pool. Admission is $15 (includes one raffle ticket). This event has sold out for the past 2 years so you'll want to make your reservation early to guarantee a spot. Check our website at www.parks4pups.org or look for the event flyer on the dog park kiosk. Proceeds for this event will benefit Vineyard Dog Park.
October 10th, 2nd Annual Dogtoberfest and Wiener Dog Races at Atascadero Lake Park. We're co-hosting this event with our great friends at Heilmann Dog Park and sharing in the proceeds. Details will be available on our website as we get closer to the event.
We could use volunteers to help us at these events so let me know if you can commit some time. These events are a lot of work but always a lot of fun.
Thank you to those who help so much at the park including all of our park angels. Linda does a great job of keeping our entrance beautiful. Dorothy installs all of our fence post plaques. Mike is handling the watering of our trees and shrubs. Dee is our hard-working treasurer. Susan monitors our collection boxes daily. Kathy keeps the wine barrel plantings alive with her daily TLC. Dog owners are the best!
See you at the park and the pool!
Paula O'Farrell, President Parks-4-Pups 805.239.4437 firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning, Planning, Planning, Cont.
The Planning Commission will again take up the Los Osos Sewer March To The Sea on Thursday afternoon, July 23, continuing over into Friday, July 24, if necessary. Paavo Ogren was sent a new letter from the California Coastal Commission dated July 15, 2009. The Commission was in town July 8 & 9 and heard “numerous substantive public comments from Los Osos residents regarding the proposed wastewater treatment project.”
At this point, the Coastal Commissioners are aligned with the Planning Commission on the following issues:
1. It doesn’t make sense to get MORE water dirty, then pay more to clean it up to reuse it, when you can start conservation measure NOW thereby making LESS water dirty so you don’t have to clean up so much, and to also to halt sea-water intrusion from over-pumping the overdrafted aquifer NOW, instead of waiting years from now when the sewer plant is built. i.e. “. . . steps to protect the Community’s drinking water supply can and should be taken in conjunction with this project and not relegated to some future arrangement with water purveyors.”
2. The CC also strongly urges the County “. . . to build into the project sensible and doable wastewater reuse and disposal compoents,” including “ agricultural re-use” and “other feasible options” including “urban irrigation, residential re-use (purple pipe), constructed wetlands, disbursed leach fields and on-basin spray fields. A continued focus on spray disposal on the Tonini prime soils agricultural lands outside the basin is in our view inappropriate for reasons we previously communicated to the County . . .”
3. “A project that does not fully return tertiary treated effluent to the basin would be inconsistent with applicable LCP policies . . .” “We also encourage timely implementation of strong, effective water conservation measures, by both the County and private water purveyors, that will reduce water extraction, thereby reducing pressure on the lower aquifer. Irrespective of the rather limited project goals and objectives identified in the EIR, seawater intrusion is an adverse impact that is inextricably linked to this project, and as such, must be fully addressed and mitigated.”
4. And, oh, by the way, make” minimizing sludge production to the maximum extent practicable” a priority to be “reflected as a high priority in the selection of preferred collection and treatment technologies and that the County ensure that the methods chosen are the best ones designed to produce this outcome.”
5. Oh, and did we forget to mention, the “. . . wastewater and groundwater problems in Los Osos must be addressed holistically and not piecemealed. Sound land and water use planning and effective public policy implementation call for such an approach.”
Translation: The CC has been paying attention to both the Sustainability Group’s work and the Planning Commission’s “straw polls,” and understand that perhaps if the county had approached this as a True Design Build, instead of their Pretend Design Build PieceMeal, pre-determined Short List, a-priori It Will Be Gravity Even Before The TAC Sat Down type deal, the CC and the PC and the Sustainability Group and the County would have all ended up on the same page instead of “adversaries,” as they are now. Sigh.
Well, better now than later. Or, “As the Executive Director [of the CC] said at the July meeting, we are trying to convey our concerns to the County in a timely manner in order to avoid or minimize conflicts later in the process.”