Keep Winnemac Green - Oppose the Creation of a Dog Friendly Area

Chicago Park DIstrict

If you agree Winnemac Park is not the right setting for a dog park, we invite you to sign this petition opposing its construction. Your information will not be shared in any way. Residents from any part of the city can sign the petition; special attention is paid to the area extending five blocks from the park (which includes parts of the 47th ward).

Plans are continuing in coordination with 40th Ward Alderman Vasquez's office to establish a Dog Friendly Area (DFA) in Winnemac Park. According to Chicago Board of Election Commissioners data, there are approximately 30,197 voters currently in the 40th ward. At the end of 2020, 679 people voted overall regarding the 40th Ward “People’s Budget.” Of those, 426 voted for a dog park. It might be worth noting there is an already existing dog park in the ward's River Park.  

Past DFA proposals have not been funded or supported by previous aldermen, primarily due to community opposition based on the desire to support recreational spaces for all rather than permanently altering green space for exclusive use as a dog park. Winnemac is a campus park (rather than simply a neighborhood park) which sees use by thousands of students and other users each year. Amundsen's LSC voted "no" to a DFA in spring 2022. There are no other DFAs in the city which share space with Chicago Public Schools.

In addition, Park District guidelines ( recommend against locating dog parks in existing parks. And the DFA committee acknowledged in an August 2022 meeting that they have no research that supports their argument that a DFA will take care of the off leash dog problem so many people have encountered.  

We feel Winnemac Park is not an appropriate site for a permanent dog park structure. Much of the park's area is already occupied by two schools and their parking lots, sports fields, tennis courts, nature areas, Jorndt Field, two playgrounds and children's garden, leaving little room for unstructured activities. Our park is already heavily used, and a DFA will forever eliminate part of the available land from being used by anyone but dogs and their owners. It is also clear that at least some trees will have to be removed; the impact of the dog park surface on surrounding land, greenery, and trees is yet to be determined. You don't have to be a dog owner to have an opinion about the use of this land!

Once built, the Park District does absolutely no monitoring, maintenance. or cleaning of Dog Friendly Areas.  It is totally up to volunteers to take full responsibility for these tasks.  

For more details, please check out:   Keep Winnemac Park Green! Thank you!

Petition by
Chicago, Illinois

To: Chicago Park DIstrict
From: [Your Name]

I believe the unstructured open spaces and natural beauty of Winnemac Park should remain intact and thus oppose the creation of a Dog-Friendly Area there.