Dog Groups Help America’s Parks Stay Beautiful During Shut Down

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
The American government is in its third week of partial shutdown and the country’s parks are suffering. Enter dog-loving citizen groups across the country to help America in her time of need.

Of course it’s dog people who are doing what they can to take care of America’s National Parks and Recreational areas. In light of the government’s partial shut down, the staff of the parks are furloughed, leaving no one to take care of trash/waste or even to protect the treasures of the parks.

So, local dog groups are taking the lead and working to ensure America’s parks are taken care of, and why wouldn’t they since dogs love parks the best?

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In Boston, Massachusetts, a local group called Charlestown Dogs is taking care of Bunker Hill Monument. It’s a popular tourist site and the group is taking care of overflowing trash bins (and dog poop) and replacing with new bags. Federal workers with the National Park Service are furloughed and as such, their regular duties have left a void filled by the Charlestown Dogs.

In San Francisco, volunteers from the San Francisco Dog Owners Group (SFDOG) picked up trash at Lands End and Ocean Beach. Both are popular destinations run by the federal government and struggling without staff during the shut down. They were joined by Representatives Jackie Speier and Jared Huffman. Sally Stephens chairs the group and said that their help is a way of telling the government that if it can’t figure out how to make things work, citizens will stand up and say they can, and will help keep the parks clean.

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Additionally, SFDOG has been working to re-open Fort Funston, which is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It’s a multi-use facility south of San Francisco and is popular with dog owners as dogs are allowed off-leash. Despite Fort Funston being closed people are still using it and parking along the highway–a major safety issue. The Golden Gate National Recreational Area has agreed to open the lot on the basis that SFDOG maintains Fort Funston during the shut down.

Talk about citizens stepping up!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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