Monday, February 28, 2011

Dog Park in the Plans for New Karl Stirner Trail Along the Bushkill

Posted by: Noël Jones

Ed Sieger of The Express-Times reports that the bids are in for the new Karl Stirner Trail to be developed along Bushkill Creek, and the plans include a dog park! 

I think this is great, even though I am not a dog owner, because dog parks are a great "third space" in which residents of a city can socialize, and it gives dogs the opportunity to run and play off-leash and make some friends themselves. Projects like this also draw attention down to Easton's creeks and rivers, which in my mind are Easton's greatest and most unique assets, which have not been capitalized on in the past in a way that yet effectively draws the tourism and family activity that it could. Easton should be known far and wide as a river town, and projects like the new park landscaping on the Delaware and Lehigh rivers downtown, as well as this Bushkill Creek project, will draw vibrant activity to these spots and help potential homebuyers and businesses to recognize the attraction of these unique natural assets the moment they set eyes on our city.

The entire project will cost $1.6 million and the City of Easton will pay for it with a Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program grant, to include, in addition to the dog park, new curbs, crosswalks and pedestrian signals, sidewalk improvements, repairs to the paved trail along the creek and paving new parts of the trail.

Planning Director Becky Bradley says construction should start in early April and will hopefully be done by the end of the summer.
The trail is being developed in honor of Easton resident and artist, Karl Stirner, who is best-known for his metal sculptures.


Anonymous said...

finally the city will utilize one of the nicest areas in the city and with easy access to the West Ward --- the Bushkill Creek. It is so peaceful to walk along the creek and will be so much easier with the trail. I understand there will also be parking near the Safe Harbor building. Great idea and so nice to see our parks coming back.

Julie Zando-Dennis said...

I wholeheartedly agree Anonymous 8:50. Also, dogs and their responsible owners will help to populate the area, making the trail safer for everyone. A win win for both dog owners and people who don't own dogs and who won't use the park.

noel jones said...

i love dog parks even though i don't own a dog just because i like watching them goof off--it cracks me up. and i get to pretend like i'm not allergic and actually own one.

tachitup said...

Even now, the cemetary does a great job of lawn mowing and path maintenance along the Bushkill. My dog loves it, but I'm sure he'd like to have other butts there to sniff.
Any idea about how much Easton tax money is going in to this?

Anonymous said...

I believe this is being done through a state grant that is part of the Simon Silk Mill project. At least that is what I read in the article in the Express several months ago.

I also know that more than $1 million was spent on park upgrades throughtout the city last year which was also through grants and of course the new waterfront park was money from the bridge commission.

noel jones said...


The tax money going to the project is in the form of a grant, so it's federal tax money rather than local taxes. I believe the amount stated in the article for the dog park was $42K--please click the link I posted in the article for full details.

tachitup said...

OK, I get it. Easton is fonly footing a tiny fraction of the cost...and indirectly at that. My brother in Morgantown and my cousin in Altoona are chipping in, too. Who knows if there's any federal funds in the state grant.
I want to rant against tax money going for anything that has the word "Arts" in it, but I want this trail and park.
So sad to see that I can be bought.

noel jones said...

tachitup--i know what you mean, in that on one hand i think taxes are going up too many ways, but if they've already got my money, these are the kinds of things i want to see it spent on.

sometimes it feels like someone has mugged me, and when i start crying, the mugger says, "calm down, i'm keeping most of it, but i'll buy you something--what do you want?" and i say, "a dog park?" or "landscaping the riverfront parks?" or "could we fix up some blighted buildings around here?"

i'd rather not get mugged at all, and get some friends together and go build a dog park myself, but that's against the rules.

so as long as my tax money is going to go SOMEWHERE, i'm glad it's going to a dog park, and it's a smaller amount in the bigger scheme of things...