Our venerable neighbors at St. Anthony’s Immaculate Conceptions School near Precita Park have recently done a lot to beautify the sidewalk gardens along Precita and Folsom, with much of the work performed by students who attend the school. The gardens look great, but the St. Anthony’s community has a request for local dog owners: Please control your pets and pick up their poop!
Geno Lucero, St. Anthony’s Class of 1963, writes:
I volunteer at a school by Precita Park (St.Anthony – Immaculate Conception), where my family has attended over the past 100 years. I teach a drumline class there. I also help with other needs & concerns for the school’s staff, teachers, and families, who form a wonderful community.
The gentleman who takes care of the sidewalk gardens on Folsom St. & Precita Ave. has been frustrated that dog owners in the neighborhood are using these tended planted areas as toilets for their pets. I understand it’s human nature to allow this when walking a dog, but would like to reach out to area dog owners / walkers to address this issue.
The gardener installed “No Dog Pooping” signs (and replacements when the originals were stolen) and built individual fences around each garden to protect them. But the problem continues, and it’s become a public health concern for the children at the school and in the neighborhood. This is to say nothing of the damage done by pets when they scrape the plants with their paws after taking care of business. The dog urine alone is killing off plants.
There are numerous instances of dog owners / walkers just tossing their bags of dog poop on the sidewalks around the school & neighborhood, too. It’s not easy to monitor, but if our good neighbors can be proactive stewards, the entire neighborhood benefits.
This school just celebrated its 120th anniversary and as an alumnus of 50 years, I care deeply about not just the school, but this wonderful neighborhood which it has served. Precita Park is another dog owners’ “paradise”, and it, too, is used in a similar capacity. Families & children should be concerned when public health is at stake. I have been a dog owner and love them, but my priorities now are with the health and welfare of those affected by some of the area’s dog owners.
Message received? This admonition holds true over every square inch of Bernal Heights, and (unfortunately) it always bears repeating: Dog owners, it is your responsibility to manage your pets in a neighborly manner, and always always always clean up after your canines. No exceptions. No excuses. Just do it.
PHOTO: Top, Poop flags on Cortland, February 2013. Below, St. Anthony’s sidewalk gardens on Precita, via Geno Lucero.