A homeowner in Waukesha for 20 years, Steve is president of the Waukesha Dog Parks Organization and enjoys motorcycling, fishing and staying on top of politics.
With the record snowfall this winter, the spring thaw made a huge pond of water on the south side of the Minooka dog park. At first it was clean water and it drew lots of people watching their dogs splash around. The water was around two feet deep or more and covered better than an acre. As the sod wore down and the water and shore became muddy, people began to avoid it and a steady decline in attendance of the large dog area was noticed.
While I could not interview those that were not there, those that continued to come did mention their disgust with it. The fact that the small dog area was continuing to be used in good numbers showed that the large dog area had a problem. Another problem is that the large dog area is very hilly, with the flattest area at the entrance. Consequently it rapidly became muddy. The county fenced off much of the area and laid down bark trails to either ends of the area. However, the flat area has long dried up. There is no sign of it having been reseeded so I don't understand why it isn't reopened. I believe that many people prefer the flatter and level area to hiking up and down the hills. Several users are disabled or have trouble walking distances. This is not good for them.
I will often drive directly to Brookfield's Mitchell Park dog park after our visit to Minooka and I find that it continues to be well used. I see people that I've seen at Minooka and being that the marsh has dried up enough to not be much of an issue for attracting dogs, it reinforces my observation that Minooka needs to do something with what is called the Seasonal Pond, but has turned out to be a muddy nuisance. I suggested fencing it off, at least temporarily so dog owners don't have to fear a muddy mess to shampoo later on. I'd like to see some landscaping and drainage to contain the water to a smaller area. However, because it is stagnant and will dry up, I think a sewer should be installed and pumped out as needed to keep the area usable and attractive.
All is not bad though. There is some beauty to be found. That's for the next blog perhaps. See you at the dog parks!