82°Partly Cloudy

Dear PoPville – No More Dogs Allowed at EL Haynes Kansas Location?

by Prince Of Petworth July 15, 2011 at 12:30 pm 109 Comments

“Dear PoPville,

I don’t have a dog but I noticed yesterday that EL Haynes has put up a “no dogs” signs on their fence. Currently, the park is used by dogs (and owners!) on evenings and weekends. Is this a temporary thing while they build their addition or will the ban remain in place after the addition is completed?”

The reader is referring to the new EL Haynes school’s Kansas Avenue location at 4501 Kansas Avenue, NW.

I assume the no dogs rule will permanent. It’s been a tough couple of months for Petworth dogs…


    I suspect that a few lazy, inconsiderate d-bags who never learned to clean up after themselves (and their dogs) have ruined it for everybody.

    • Anonymous

      Me, too. Same thing happened at the baseball/soccer fields behind the Raymond Rec Center.

    • Anonymous

      Even if you clean up the poop, all the bacteria is still there for the kids to roll around in. This is a school yard for children, not a dog park. Curb your dogs people, it’s the law!

      • Anonymous

        If dog crap bacteria was at all dangerous, humanity would have died off centuries ago.

        Get some purel or take a xanax.

        The law doesn’t require your dog to crap in the street. Sorry, it just doesn’t.

        • Anonymous

          You might double check that law. And, go lick your butt and see how it tastes, I bet it’s better than xanax. ;-)

          • Anonymous

            what is the law?

        • DC parent

          You have to realize that in such a small area there is a huge concentration of dogs crapping everyday so you can’t start using exaggerations to argue your point.

          Do you want children to douse themselves in Purel everyday and then you have to make sure they don’t put their hands in their mouths while playing. Otherwise they might get ill from e-coli.

          You can have your dog crap in one of the real dog parks or perhaps your yard.

        • Anonymous

          what an idiotic thing to say.

  • 99vmi

    Being one of the dog owners that used that field this sucks but oh well.

    They claim it was but it was pretty clean. We always picked up but can’t say for all hours. Also they moved the playground to the other side of the school so not sure why it would be a problem.

    My rant is that schools, parks, and open areas used to be for the community. So much for community.

    Funny the security guard gave us a paper with the DC animal control laws and the section they highlighted stated Dogs were not allowed on school property while school was in session. Kind of contradicts them kicking us out permanently.

    • joker

      Therin lies the problem. Your indignant that these spaces be used for the community, but filling parks and play grounds with dog crap makes these space unusable to the rest of the community.

      If dog owners cleaned up after themselves, this wouldn’t be a problem and its hard to claim its just a few people when this is the 3rd DC area in as many weeks that has been highlighted on PoP that has disallowed dogs.

      • caballero

        I can attest to the responsibility of most of the dog owners who use the schoolyard. I pick up trash (not just dog poop) when I’m there, as do most of the people I see. As of right now, dog owners are the ONLY people who use that space. It’s just going to become an unused lot, apparently.

        • Anonymous

          I’ve actually noticed a correlation– the cleanest neighborhoods are the ones with a high percentage of dog owners.

          • GDopplerXT

            You would have to spend a lot of time hanging around the streets of a lot of neighborhoods for your observation to be in any way meaningful.

          • Anonymous

            I think I have. And I’ve lived all over DC. I don’t see how my comment is any less meaningful than the generalizations from dog-haters.

          • Anonymous

            Sound scientific method, to be sure.

          • Anonymous

            Well I’m sorry I don’t have the cash to fund a study. I’d rather spend the money on silly things like microloans in developing countries.

        • Marty

          the school will be building a new wing, re-configuring the parking lot, and then making use of the fields (e.g., install actual soccer field, baseball diamond.)

          It won’t be unused for too long.

          • caballero

            Yes, so why are they kicking people off the fields now? The construction is months away. To me, it smacks of arrogance, and as a neighbor, I’m going to look into EL Haynes’ affairs more closely from now on.

      • 99vmi

        But who is to say their complaints are legit. Only takes a few curmudgeons to complain and the places call foul.

        Also how does it make it unusable? Its the size of 3 football fields. They may have found poop from some irresponsible people in one or two places but isn’t that minimal. Plus no one uses this field!

        when did we lose our common sense.

        • anonymous

          dude, I don’t know this area, but children and adults use this field to play on, no? there should be special areas for dogs to poo/pee on and the dogs should only be allowed to play fetch on the fields. otherwise, it’s completely ridiculous to think that your dog urinating and defecating on the field (I don’t care if you pick it up, you can’t get all of the feces) is acceptable. the field is for humans, it’s NOT your dog’s bathroom. if people will be running, falling, rolling around on this field it’s unsafe for dogs to be crapping all over it, whether you pick it up or not.

          sorry, but I’ve seen many dog owners use soccer fields that children play on to let their dogs go all over it when there is grass RIGHT NEXT TO the field that the dog can crap on. I play in a bunch of athletic rec leagues (on fields that I know children use too) and I don’t want to play on a field that has dog urine and excrement remnants. anyone who thinks this is acceptable is totally effing nuts.

          • caballero

            This field is not used by anyone. I walk my dog past the school twice a day, and I have seen it used by people other than dog owners only two or three times in the past nine months. It is really, really underutilized, and I don’t understand EL Haynes’ motive in stopping dog owners from using it.

            Now, the kids are just going to use it for getting high and having sex after dark. Yes, I have found used condoms and liquor bottles there….

          • 99vmi

            Ok. so shouldn’t we ban all kids and adults then for littering all over same said field. For that matter there is plenty more garbage in the tree boxes then dog poo, so you and your kids aren’t allowed near those either.

          • Anonymous

            it’s a school isn’t it? If so, I’m sure they’re using it. I also wouldn’t take your twice a day sample as proof that it’s not being used. sounds like you all should open up a dialog with the school administration.

          • Anonymous

            99vml, yes,littering should be (and probably is) illegal. bad comparison, though. a coke can isn’t hazardous to your health. if you want to compare it to something, then maybe drug needles or used condoms would work. either way, those things and dog shit should never be allowed on athletic fields.

          • caballero

            Anonymous @ 1:21:

            I live one block away from the school, AND I walk my dog past it twice a day. I often work from home, so I know for a fact that the field is not used. It’s mid-July, and school isn’t in session, so why didn’t they wait until school is in session, at least?

            Let me add that I have only found dog poop once. But I have picked up LOTS of trash, which the school hasn’t been capable of, or interested in, dealing with.

          • WDC

            caballero, EL Haynes is a year-round school. (They will close next week for a few weeks of staff development, but otherwise don’t really have a traditional summer break.) Some neighbor you are.

          • caballero

            To WDC @ 2:12,

            I am PRECISELY the kind of neighbor the school wants to have in their corner. I am a good citizen. I pick up trash blocks away from my home. I look out for my neighbors. I call the cops on the bad guys.

            The fact remains that the schoolyard is woefully underutilized. I wish it WERE utilized. I would love to see kids running around and playing organized sports there, but there aren’t any.

            There is no need to question my civic virtue. That’s a low blow, and it’s not something I do to anybody on this blog.

          • DC parent

            The field is used by the students. I have seen them on the field. I just saw students building a tepee on it the other day.

            And to your point about it being underutilized- maybe that is because people don’t want to risk stepping in dog crap and therefore do go on it at all.

            I know that there are very diligent dog owners who not only pick up their own dog’s crap but others as well. That is great but they can’t pick up after everyone all the time. Also, as others have explained, when a dog craps on the ground, there is still some residue when it is picked up especially if it is a soft or watery crap.

            This is why at real dog parks they have all sorts of drainage regulations they have to follow.

            One last point, it only became an unofficial dog park after Clark closed.

        • joker

          You are kidding right? Well, unless the offending down owner puts a flag in the field where they decided to abandon their dogs crap, how is someone supposed to know where it is.

          I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a DC park for a game of pick-up soccer, or softball and the balls roll through piles of dog crap, or you run/slide/fall into it.

          And it obviously just one or two places, or a few instances over a few acres.

          The problem exists, otherwise people wouldn’t be forbidding dogs left and right.

          • 99vmi

            You shouldn’t be playing pick up soccer or softball without a permit on that field. Don’t you know the laws. And trust me i played in a mens baseball league, you need a permit to use fields everywhere.

            So doesn’t that piss you off? Well same with dogs.

          • Anonymous

            @99vmi, I have run into the exact same problem multiple times playing WITH a permit. I don’t understand your point. why would needing a permit piss me off?

      • anon

        Dog owners should also wear helmets!

        • 99vmi

          Yes you are only allowed to walk your dog in your 5x 5 yard while wearing rubber gloves and you must catch the poop before it hits the ground and keep your dog inside all other times.

          • JavierPluto

            It would fabulous if everyone did this. Great idea.

    • CB

      FWIW EL Haynes summer session starts Monday

      • caballero

        This is good to know, because it makes the school’s decision seem less arbitrary, in terms of timing.

  • poop

    Have your dog shit in your own yard

    • 99vmi

      It does. This is just a place for them to run around and get exercise.

      New Record: 10 min for the dog haters to come out.

      Sorry we all don’t have an army of cats. so sad and lonely.

      be constructive.

      • poop

        I don’t have a cat or dog that shits all over the place. I have a daughter who shits her pants, and I clean it up.

        When she starts running and shitting maybe I’ll understand your plight… but I doubt it.

        • Anonymous

          Some people leave their daugher’s smelly used diapers in my alley, but I have enough sense to realize most parents are considerate enough to not do this.

      • Anonymous

        “New Record: 10 min for the dog haters to come out.”

        I love dogs, I just don’t think they should poop all over the city.

        • 99vmi

          They don’t. Its a misconception. I own a dog and have walked much of the neighborhoods and dog parks in DC and have only stepped in unpicked up poo once. Yes such a scourge on this city!

          Of course that could be cause i’m lucky or unlucky however the saying goes.

          • Former Lawyer

            I don’t know why you think it’s necessarily a misconception. I do think it’s gotten worse recently. Small sample size and everything, but my kids have stepped in dog shit 3 or 4 times in the past few weeks. Every time it was on the grass strip on 17th between U and V. And it’s been really bad around here for about a year now. All down 17th from V to New Hampshire, there’s dog shit in the grass between the sidewalk and the curb.

            The fact is there are a few dog owners there — and I understand that it’s not the majority — who don’t feel the need to clean up after their dogs. The problem is that it stepping in it is unpleasant and having to clean your kids’ shoes off is even worse, so all it takes is a few incidents for space owners like schools and churches to say, “screw it, I’m sick of hearing from parents, teachers, parishioners, etc., so we’re just going to ban all dogs.” Uncreative approach? Probably. But it’s their space and their prerogative.

            And I love dogs — seriously. But their owners are starting to piss me off.

        • me

          Agreed- and another point, say a meticulously clean dog owner is walking with the dog in the park, and the dog takes a crap. The owner cleans it up with a bag. 9 times out of 10, all of it isn’t picked up- it’s smeared a bit on the grass and whatnot, and sometimes the mess is so bad that it’s a lost cause to get it all (or even most of it). So, even if the owner picks it up, it is still all over the spot to some degree.

    • Anonymous


  • caballero

    Based on the information provided by the security guard, there is no reason we can’t have leashed dogs on the property while school is not in session. Obviously, most owners prefer to take the leashes off their dogs while on the premises, but there is a big step between banning dogs outright at all times and preventing them from entering the property unleashed during school hours. Personally, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I wonder how good a neighbor EL Hayes is going to be.

    There is also no loitering allowed. Does that mean I can’t go throw the football there with my buddy? Does that mean everyone from the neighborhood will be prevented from using the schoolyard at all?

    • 99vmi

      Exactly! They asked the community to help build that playground but then put up a sign that said For School Use Only. Real nice.

      • Marty

        it’s open for the community – just not during school hours. Would you expect that a school allow any random person to hang out on the playground during the day?

        BTW, EL Haynes is a year-round school. They have programming 48 weeks of the year – including now.

        • caballero

          If there are kids in school now, they sure aren’t using the “athletic field.” I haven’t seen a child there for a long time.

          A few rough-looking kids getting high, sure, but no schoolchildren.

        • 99vmi

          yes Marty we know all this. thanks for the update. Still doesn’t prove anything. We know they are building but construction is way out there. We know they are in school year round hence why we obeyed their wishes and only went their weekends and evenings.

          Tell me this though, we got kicked out one time because someone was having a family picnic there. Well you should have seen the mess afterwards. First off i’ve never heard schools allowing this and second how is this any better.

    • Anonymous

      Right, keep your freakin’ dogs on a leash!

  • tom

    I think you can use the playground after 6.30pm. Sorry to hear about the dog restrictions (though I don’t have a dog I appreciate that dogs need to run and not everyone has a car). Is there anywhere in the Kansas/Sherman Circle area with space for a dog park?

    • 99vmi

      We are trying to get this grassy area behind the church across the street.

      Just sad. We met so many people in the area through dog walking and dog parks. God forbid people congregate and talk with each other.

  • caballero

    Let me state this again. These are not athletic fields! It is an unused lot, and dog owners are the only ones keeping it clean. There isn’t even any dog poop. In two months, it will probably be full of litter, including used condoms and broken bottles.

    Best of luck to EL Haynes, but you probably won’t count on this neighbor’s support. Or my dog’s :)

    • WarderSt

      This is ridiculous. It’s the school’s property. For whatever reason, and I am guessing it’s due to dog poop, they decided to not allow dogs on their property. End of story. Why hate E.L. Haynes? I am a dog owner. I say, oh well. I’ll find somewhere else for my dog to play in or I’ll just walk my dog on a leash. Good grief people. This is a school. I also have a kid and I’d much rather the kid not end up walking in dog poop than the dog have this specific place to run around.

      • caballero

        Poop is not the problem. Really, it’s not. There is no poop.

        With the exception of dog owners, the schoolyard goes unused 99 percent of the time. I wish it were used, but it’s not.

        I don’t take my dog to the school. She gets walked on a leash. But I like the fact that dog owners can congregate there and take advantage of public space that is financed with public tax dollars, both yours and mine.

        I’m not hating on EL Haynes yet, but I lived darn close to it, and it seems to be an arbitrary and ill-timed decision, which makes me wonder how good a neighbor they are going to be.

        • Hombre Mal

          I drop my kid off on the Kansas Ave side and there certainly is a ton of poop in the grass between the sidewalk and the curb. Poor kid has to dodge these fresh piles daily.

  • oboe

    Same thing goes on at Lincoln Park: do “most” owners pick up after their dogs? Sure. It’s the 15% who leave fucking dog shit laying around that spoil it for everyone else. Sorry, but not wanting to sit down in someone’s pet’s shit is a legitimate concern.

    That’s not some sort of failing on the part of the school; it’s a failing on the part of dog owners. Collectively.

    • Anonymous

      I go to Lincoln Park once or twice a day and have actually NEVER seen dog shit that wasn’t immediately picked up.

      • 8th Street SE

        Yeah, if someone didn’t pick it up the other dog owners would shame them into doing it or pick it up themselves. Just because we own dogs doesn’t mean we want it there either.

    • JavierPluto

      Yeah but even when picked up, there is poop left over. It’s impossible to get it all unless your dog is borderline constipated. I don’t really get letting dogs do their diarrhea all over public parks where children run around. But maybe I just don’t get dog ownership in general. I mean, letting a dog press it’s feces-encrusted anus all over your floors, rugs, furniture and beds? Doggy underpants maybe?

      • Anonymous

        You have a psychological medical condition called Coprophagia. Carry a blanket and some purel and you’ll be ok.

    • greent

      Yep, and until all bikers ensure that no biker runs a red light, there should be no bike lanes in DC.

      It’s the failing on the part of the bikers. Collectively.

  • Anonymous

    As much as I feel for the dog owners, I am quite happy this happened without me having to involve the authorities. Seeing so many dogs off the leash every day when my 2 kids also want to use the park was a huge problem for me. Having a huge dog off a leash come up and almost attack my 2 year old and scare the crap out of her and me was just unacceptable. If the owners could have obeyed DC leash laws and also DC curb your dog poop laws, perhaps a different outcome. Way to go EL Haynes mngt! Right call for sure.

    • caballero

      Well, here is the problem, apparently.

      I understand the concern about your child. I wouldn’t accept it either. But when did this occur? There is no longer a playground on that side of the school.

      As far as the dog poop, I call BS. I have been in that park enough to know that there isn’t any. You’ll have better luck finding it on the street.

      • jojo

        I think you’re immune to it. Having tried to go play soccer and frisbee in that area with my kids, I can attest to the fact that there is plenty of crap laying about.

        Unacceptable. I agree that El Haynes got this one right. Here’s to hoping that more spaces start banning dogs.

        I also wish the RCP police would start enforcing leash laws. You basically cannot hike with kids in the park without fear of a dog tearing around the corner and slamming your kids to the ground while the owner chats away on his/her phone. Has happened to me twice.

        • caballero

          We must use different parts of the field, because I, too, play sports there and have never encountered any poop.

          I’m glad you are using the fields, because there aren’t many of us who do.

          • DC parent

            So everyone else sees poop but you don’t?

      • Marty

        >You’ll have better luck finding it on the street.

        I think that’s actually part of the issue. The school, from what I heard, treated any poop found anywhere around the school as the same. That is, it didn’t matter if it was on the sidewalk at Buchanan and 7th or in the field – it was still dog poop, and they didn’t want it around.

        They can’t ban all dogs from ever walking on the sidewalk, so they did what they could – banned them from their property.

      • BF

        There are basketball courts that kids play on. I’ve seen them out there often.

        I’m a dog owner but I get the problem This is not a dog park and not set up as a dog park. Kids playing ball there (and I’ve seen them playing soccer too!) are at risk from the large variety of large dogs loose on any given night or weekend. Even though the vast majority of the dogs are well-behaved, how are parents to know?

        • caballero

          For the record, I very rarely take my dog to the schoolyard. I do, however, like the fact that people take advantage of that empty field by bringing their dogs.

          I wish there were more children using the fields. As of now, there are a handful of teenagers (not children) who use the basketball court, but the dogs never play there.

      • Anonymous

        Mr. C, do you think little kiddies only use playground equipment. They like dogs and adults also like open space, grass, soccer balls, and the like.

        It happened perhaps about 6-8 weeks ago, and I never followed up on it as I had other concerns and priorities to occupy my attention.

        The dog owner for that event turns out is a long long time local, says he has something like 35 nephews and nieces in the neighborhood, very nice guy, didn’t realize families ran so deep up here. Like another local who told me his secret, he bought his place on Illinois years ago for $10,000 (now that is a good deal!)

    • Anonymous

      I know! Those dogs are constantly almost attacking people, they run over and barely change their mind right before attacking. Super scary!

      • BF

        If you are a parent and your kid is playing ball there and a big dog runs toward the kid, you are scared. It’s very simple to understand.

    • Anony

      It would be interesting to know if the dog was actually trying to attack your child. People who do not understand dog behavior often think dogs are trying to attack them, when they are just sniffing around. Too many times children have come up to my leashed dog, been licked on the hand/face, and turned to their parents and said the dog bit him/her. My dogs don’t willingly go near any child when offleash, the sight of them offleash should not unsettle you. And, leash laws are for public property, EL Haynes is in control of this property so the “public property” part of it is lost, no one was breaking any leash law. But, you are obviously not a dog person, so I get that the whole bit confuses you.

      • Local PW

        You have no idea what you are talking about. When you have a toddler and an unfamiliar dog runs up to them, I guarantee you will change your tune.

      • Anonymous

        Wow, complete obliviousness, which is what must have led to ELHaynes good decision. Perhaps now you’ll see more kids using the fields now that the self indulgent dog party has ended. It truly was out of control and posed a frequent no-go situation for me and my kids on multiple occasions, last thing I wanted was to have to have a tense confrontion with multiple self-entitled dog owners who somehow believed it was totally cool to let the massive wolf pack run the place while I played with my kids nearby worrying the entire time about the threat a large dog could pose to them. Clearly it’s time to write Muriel and demand a fenced-in dog park like they have in Adams Morgan.

        • caballero

          Oblivious, self-indulgent, out of control, self-entitled, massive wolf pack.

          Geez Louise, those are some loaded words.

          I really do hope kids use the fields more. For the most part, I don’t think dogs are what kept the kids out, because the dogs are only there a brief period in the morning and evening, but I do hope the kids make use of the field.


    Ooooo, pushback to the Imperial dog owners. LOVE these ‘debates’.

    Couple of points:

    + the “For School Use Only” designation has specific limitations….says so right beneath where the sign says “For School Use Only”.

    + for those community members that aren’t also members of the school it is reasonable to assume that you can throw a football with a buddy…just not M-F btw the hours of 7am and 7pm.

    Just watch out for the poop…oops….nevermind…(see sign).


    (response was to Caballero @1:30pm)

  • jojo

    The dog owners should form a group that approaches the school and proposes building a fence around a small portion of the field and designate it as a dog park area.

    The dog park can have regulated hours by someone willing to open and close it every day, and the people who want to use it can make sure they maintain it, do weekly cleanups, etc.

    This is how the best dog parks in the area work. Even if you propose it as temporary, if you can then prove what good neighbors you can be to the school, perhaps it will become more permanent.

    **That’s** how you form a good community relationship with your local school.

    • caballero

      I agree with you. There have been talks between dog owners and the school, but from what I understand, EL Haynes wants the dog owners gone, period.

  • 99vmi

    People miss the bigger issue. If you let places like this ban dogs/kids/community you let them push the people away and into their houses. So we all stay inside because we have no public property any more. We all pay huge taxes so we ALL should have access.

    These same people complaining who have little kids and what not, when those kids want a dog then they’ll be saying “gee i wish there was a place to take my dog and kids so they can run around.” And there will be none because you let places like this take them.

    Aren’t there bigger issues like corrupt Mayor, constant construction, school system, etc.

    Kind of like the Congress making a bigger issue of Weiner pics than fixing the economy.

    • jojo

      I agree that the dogs should have a space to run. But, it should be a separated space with a fence. It also helps keep kids out of the dog run areas, and dog owners know they are in an area that is safe for their dogs.

      The Shaw dog park is a perfect example of a park that was built by the community, using community space, is maintained with and alongside other community members, And, it is well-maintained by good neighbors. Soccer players and basketballers don’t have to worry about getting jumped by a dog, and dog owners have a safe space to commune with other dogs and their owners.

    • BeerDude

      Don’t you understand? Dog poop is the reason we have a corrupt government, why our school system is a joke, why there is so much construction, and it is clearly why we all had to see little Weiner.

      Eliminate the dog poop, Eliminate all problems! I just need to find a candidate who is willing to adopt this as his 2012 platform.

      (is it 5 yet?)

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, BeerDude. :)

    • jojo

      By the way, I also agree that there are bigger issues.

      Like, Kwame Brown fleecing the public and undermining the work of the one decent council member, Tommy Wells. Speaking of which, Mary Cheh is a spineless pile of crap. She just keeps letting Gray and Brown get away with everything.

      DC Statehood = NEVER.

    • anon
  • andy

    All public and/or open space is for dog usage. Also, Metro-owned corner lots, treeboxes, cemeteries and dog parks. This city has gone to the dogs and I appawd EL Haynes for sticking it to dog owners.

    • greent

      “sticking it”.

      hate runs deep in andy. I hope PoP puts that on your shirt.

      • andy

        it’s kind of funny i was actually just thinking of sticks and dogs. kind of like i wrote ‘appawd.’

  • RnR

    I like dogs, but some people have to accept that not every open space is a dog park. Walk your dog on a leash on the sidewalk or go jogging and take your dog. Probably a lot healthier than standing around watching your dog run around and poop.

    • BeerDude

      Yes, but jogging outside is scary with sun and rain and leaves and big mean people. And I surely couldn’t get my dog into WSC with me to jog on the treadmill. I mean, no security guard will believe my dog telling him he works there (my dog demands that he be able to walk on the parking ramp!)

  • Lester

    This is a big space and a lot of dog owners have used these grounds as a dog park since I’ve lived here. I would think the ANC would be able to step in and negotiate some kind of arrangement in which dog owners could run their dogs off leash in a fenced part of the park that wouldn’t interfere with soccer games or the school facilities. It would be a great asset for the neighborhood. No reason not to have it.

    • Marty

      Been there. Done that. No go.

  • Anony

    It’s EL Haynes’ right to ban dogs from the property, sad, but understandable.

    I would like to point out to all those dog-hating child-toting people that I have a dog, and pay high taxes in this city (due to a nice income), which help support your school. If I and the other dog-loving/owning and non-child-having people leave this city your schools will have much less money to run on. Be careful complaining about the people who live in this city and actually pay the high taxes form which you benefit. Cut off your nose to spite your face…

  • M

    Yeah, I’m torn here. On the one hand, I think the amount of deference given to dogs in this city is ridiculous. On the other, that is a HUGE field, and it is definitely an advantage to have dog owners there making the neighborhood safer and more congenial. I can think of several solutions — make a real dog park there; fence of part of the park; or, a la Congressional Cemetary, start a dogwalkers association that would make sure everything gets cleaned up adequately.

  • PetworthRes

    There’s a huge amount of land in front of EL Haynes and plenty of space to have an area set aside as a dog park and still have enough room for a soccer field or other athletic use. Even the area of grass outside the fence is bigger than most dog parks in closer-in parts of the city. It seems like there’s room for some compromise here…

  • andy

    can we just tear town the Armed Forces Retirement Home, finally, and just let everybody run their dogs there off leash. come on, it’s their right to run free in urban areas!

  • Local PW

    I see kids playing in that field – it’s a year round school. I leave for work later in the morning than most folks and kids are out there running around. It’s safe to say DC schools do not use their fields nearly enough.
    I do emphathize with the local dog owners because that field was a great place for them to socialize and let their dogs run around for a while. They had it good for a few short years while the former Clark school was unused.
    So yesterday I saw some couple exercising their dogs off leash on the playground equipment in the little tot lot north of Grant Circle. I couldn’t help getting a little annoyed. Scoop all you want, dog pee still smells.

  • nettie

    the vitriol is outstanding! I don’t know how PoP does it. If I had to read this bollocks every time I logged a post…well, lets just say I’d either need a lot of meditation or a lot of pills.
    For the record, I live (literally) across the street from EL Haynes. Today, during daylight hours, there were about 40 kids playing close to to the Webster Street side of the park. Half of them built a teepee and the other half set up little orange cones and were three-legged racing or playing soccer or shinty, I don’t know what. Now at 6pm the teepee has been removed and it appears to my eyes (the eyes of the PoP commentariat) that it is an unused field.
    So…if I may offer an opinion…EL Haynes is not some evil fascist org that hates you and your dog…they probably have valid reasons for not allowing dogs on the playing field during their summer session. And since they are (I assume) the owners of the land, they can dictate who has access to it.

    • Anonymous

      Aren’t they just leasing the site from the city or did they actually buy it?

      If EL Haynes were smart, they’d build a fenced dog park and charge permit fees for its use. What’s it worth to a dog owner ($50/month)??

      I wonder if they’ll let me throw a fundraising reggae concert there? We could even throw in a dog show with prizes to raise money for the school.

      • Anonymous

        And as another one who can see the field from home, I do miss the weekly sunday soccer game, ahh the late afternoon dust. Now that was the real travesty…

    • caballero

      It’s great that the kids were playing there. It’s about time. If EL Haynes intends to use the space better, I applaud them, but they could have explained that better and communicated it to the dog owners, instead of erecting signs over night and having a security guard (a nice guy, by the way) hand us photocopies of the law.

      For the sake of public relations, they could have made a simple little flyer explaining their plans and why dogs wouldn’t be allowed any longer. Sans that, they come off as bullies and we responsible dog owners are scratching our heads, wondering what we did wrong.

  • dcd

    1. As others have pointed out, it’s a year-round school.

    2. In about 3 weeks, the first high school class will start at the Kansas Avenue campus. Those students will be playing organized sports, using those fields.

    3. It befuddles me that anyone can really get indignant that a school believes it’s inappropriate to have dogs (i) urinating and defecating where children play, and (ii) off-leash and running around where children play. From a liability standpoint alone, it’s ridiculous. Yes, I know everyone here ALWAYS picks up after their dog, gets every last molecule of feces, and also sucks the urine out of the earth. And I know everyone here’s dog would NEVER bother anyone – in fact, they’re trained to stay 50 yards away from all children at all times. But that’s apparently not the case for everyone, or all dogs.

    4. As for those of you tho think the school should create a dog park – ELH is one of the bright spots in an otherwise dismal public education landscape in DC. How about we let them concentrate on educating our kids, and don’t ask that they be responsible for providing public amenities? Isn’t that just absurd on its face? Good grief.

    I feel entitled to say this, as I’m usually in the group to which Milloy was referring – myopic little twits, indeed.

  • Nikki

    This thread was everything I thought it would be. Thanks for a Sunday morning laugh, PoP.

  • Anonymous

    A: Dogs can do no wrong!
    B: Dogs Suck!
    C: Meh.

  • mike

    Love dogs but I’m just tired of cleaning dog poo off my shoe.

  • My girlfriend works at EL Haynes. The main issue is that some dog owners who took there dog on this property did not respect the school’s property. Everyday allowing their dogs to crap in an area that is used by children DAILY and not cleaning up after their dogs mess. Many kids would come in with shit stained clothing and dragging it through the school.

    The other issue is that some dog owners were using the grounds when the school had functions. I have heard these owners became very aggravated when asked politely to leave and made threats against staff and the school (like legal threats). My take is that EL Haynes tried to work with the owners, but it didn’t work out.

    That folks on here say EL Haynes will be a bad neighbor is foolish. They are providing one of the best charter school educations in our neighborhood. You’d rather have a spot for your dog than better educated children?

    EL Haynes has a strong community and from what I can tell from dog posters on here, there is no dog community to speak of. If dog owners had a community you would have worked this out with EL Haynes by being accountable for each other so that the issues above were minimized at best.


Subscribe to our mailing list