Dear Current Rosedale Members & Dog Owners,
Thank you for your support over the past year, which has certainly been the most difficult in our history. We are grateful for everyone’s patience as we have tried to address evolving public health information during the pandemic, while working to meet the needs of our community to find a place to enjoy the outdoors. The early spring total closure was difficult for all of us and dog owners have found the more limited hours frustrating.
The pandemic has provided an opportunity for the Rosedale Board to step back and think about how well we are meeting Rosedale’s mission. The mission has 3 prongs – to maintain the historic grounds, to educate our community about its history, and to provide access for the public. Importantly, access for dogs off-leash is a wonderful part of Rosedale but, as reflected in our mission, it is only a part.
A quick refresher on how we got here
The creation of the Rosedale Conservancy is worth revisiting. Decades ago, when the Rosedale property was owned by the National Cathedral School, and then by Youth for Understanding, the grounds were generally open to the public. In 2002, that public access was threatened when the property went up for sale and one developer wanted to build 125 townhomes on the property, and another organization wanted to move their school to the property. The potential loss of the “village green” galvanized the neighborhood to join together to purchase the three-acre property and form the Conservancy, to protect it from development in perpetuity and to continue to provide open public access to the grounds.
Since its inception, the Conservancy has deliberately and thoughtfully discussed and debated how the park should be used and shared by people and dogs. We have strived to find balance in the use hours, soliciting and respecting each constituency’s voice and viewpoints.
Fast forward to 2020 and the Survey Results
Earlier this year, the Conservancy implemented a survey of our members and the broader community to learn more about your understanding and opinions regarding Rosedale. The survey which many of you filled out gave helpful information as we plan for the future at Rosedale. Based on your responses, the board is adding a section to the website with answers to a variety of topics raised. This section should be live before year end. We will address questions about trash cans, benches, why Rosedale remains closed after the rain stops, Ordway access, and others.
In the meantime, the survey results and the events of 2020 have brought to light these conclusions:
- That Rosedale’s current use hours do not fully accommodate the desire by community members to enjoy Rosedale at times when dogs are not off-leash.
- We have watched our dog membership increase every year, and we now know that the current demand for dog registrations is far beyond what Rosedale can accommodate.
Rosedale is a historic conservancy, not a dog park, and we must ensure that it is properly maintained and protected. Therefore, we limit the number of dogs that can be registered each year to reduce overuse and degradation of the nationally-registered historic landscape, as well as to help ensure safety for all dogs and people. Remember, Rosedale is an all-volunteer endeavor, and we need all visitors, including dogs owners, to be stewards of the park and its protected landscape. We welcome those who abide by the use rules we’ve established, value the privilege of using the green space, and enjoy the community that Rosedale provides. We all want Rosedale to thrive and be a welcoming place for everyone.
Looking ahead to 2021 and revised off-leash hours
Based on the survey and extensive discussion by the Conservancy’s Board, we have decided to make adjustments to the use hours, that will simplify and clarify them and better support our three-pronged mission.
We hear the request from dog owners for to start afternoon off-leash hours earlier during the standard time months (the colder months with shorter days): 4:00 – 6:00 pm. These hours are effective immediately.
Next year we will have two sets of hours that change with the clocks. During Daylight Savings Time, off-leash hours will be 5:00 – 7:00 for every day, except for Saturday evenings which will be reserved for individual and family use. In addition, morning hours will be 7:00 – 11:00am on weekdays and 8:00 – 11:00am on weekends. New signs with the new hours will be installed at the gate and driveway.
|Off-Leash Hours||November - March||March - November|
|Weekday mornings||7 - 11 am||7 - 11 am|
|Weekend mornings||8 - 11 am||8 - 11 am|
|Weekday afternoons||4 - 6 pm||5 - 7 pm|
|Saturday afternoon||4 - 6 pm||No off-leash hours|
|Sunday afternoon||4 - 6 pm||5 - 7 pm|
Dog Registration for 2021
We will send out an email to our current members in early-mid December with the link for you to register. All 2020 members will have until December 31st to register for 2021. At the end of December we will see where we are in terms of capacity. If there are any spots available, we will open dog registration to new members in January.
Last year, the maximum number of dogs was reached by the end of January and we suspect, given the number of “pandemic puppies”, this will be true again this year. Once we reach our maximum, no further dogs can be registered.
We ask that if you no longer need your 2021 dog registration; perhaps you move during the year, or your pet dies, or you simply no longer bring your dog to Rosedale, that you let us know by surrendering your dog tag. This will allow us to let another dog owner in off the wait list.
The board is hoping to expand activities at Rosedale. To do that we welcome ideas for new activities and greater volunteer involvement to bring them to life. Ideas include gardening, plein air painting, and art projects for kids. Please share your ideas, interests, and availability.
All members of the Rosedale community are tremendously valued. You bring life to the grounds and make Rosedale the treasure that it is. May 2021 be a year of greater hope and happiness for all of us.
Jill Hall, President