The 105th Street Dog Run User Group has no salaried staff and incurs very little operating cost; therefore, almost every penny we raise goes directly to the improvement and upkeep of the run.
A Brief History
The Dog Run at 105th Street was once a lilac garden, then a rose garden, then a patch of crab grass and broken asphalt surrounded by a fence. Seeing the potential, a group of local dog owners, looking for a place to play with their dogs safely, took it over.
The run remained, however, in that derelict state for years. The only seats were tree stumps and it was a constant struggle to keep the place free of broken glass. But the dogs loved it, so the lack of amenities was endured.
Thanks to the efforts of of concerned dog owners in the early 2000s, the run was transformed from the eyesore that it was to the functioning run it is today. Benches were installed for dog owners to sit, as was running water (from April through October).
The years rolled on and the run has once again slid into neglect. As in the past, it will once again require the concerted effort of local dog owners to each contribute a bit of time, effort and, yes, money to make the run what it can be: a clean, safe place for our dogs to play!
Who We Are
Dismayed at the deteriorated state of the run, long-time neighborhood resident and dog owner Marilyn Williams contacted the Riverside Park Fund (now Riverside Park Conservancy) in early 2012. Finding out that there needs to be an organized “user group” formed under the auspices of the Fund to coordinate improvement efforts, she started asking fellow local dog owners about whether they’d be willing to help out… and we were!
We formed a board and gathered for our first meeting on March 3, 2012. Over the ensuing months we met with representatives of the Riverside Park Conservancy and the NYC Parks Department, and hatched plans grand and small! As for the latter, we got busy right away, replenishing the long-empty dog waste bag dispensers with fresh sets of bags and working with the Fund and the Parks Dept. to repair the main entrance gate to the dog run, which had fallen out of alignment and tended to get stuck, making it difficult both to open and to close. We obtained a lockable tool chest from the Parks Dept. for dog-run upkeep by volunteers, created a Facebook page and a Twitter account for the dog run, and held a volunteer clean-up day on May 19, 2012, in conjunction with New York City’s annual “It’s My Park” Day!
Over time we will, here on the web site, profile the board members and volunteers who are working to make our dog run great and to keep it that way!
Board Member Profile: Dan Cahill
Dan Cahill with his dog, Harris
Dan Cahill is an award-winning filmmaker (writer, director, cinematographer) who has lived in Morningside Heights for over 20 years. After growing up in Indianapolis and going to college in St. Louis, he served as a Peace Corps English Teacher in Morocco. He moved to New York City to study film production at NYU and has steadfastly refused to leave over the following decades. He is always delighted to discuss films, good books, jazz, and his best friend Harris, an English Shepherd.