Upgrades to let dogs get their day in Little Bay Park

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Northeastern Queens pups will have a place to run and play next fall following the completion of a city upgrade on Little Bay Park’s dog run. The project will also include the construction of bathrooms and an expansion of the Bayside park’s parking lot, a spokeswoman for the city Parks Department said.

The $500,000 renovation of the dog run is scheduled to begin in February with plans for it to open in late summer, said Janice Melnick, the Parks Department’s administrator for northeast Queens. The comfort station and parking lot expansion will be constructed simultaneously next fall and will likely be completed by fall 2010, she said.

She said the new and improved dog run’s design will be dramatically altered.

“The designs call for it to have more curves,” she said. “It’s on a slope, so we have designed it to fit in more naturally. It will also be more aesthetically pleasing.”

Melnick said the site will be split into two sections that will include a dog run for small pups and another for larger dogs.

“Their areas will run perpendicular along the fence, so they can chase each other and socialize,” she said. “It’s what dog owners have asked for.”

New fencing will also be installed at the dog run and wood chips will be replaced by a stone screening, she said. Parks will also add a water fountain for dogs at the site, she said.

The current dog run will close down shortly before construction begins.

Melnick said the city is currently searching for a developer for the project, which was funded by City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside).

“This is a dog run that was designed by dog owners themselves,” Avella said. “When it’s completed, I think it will be the best dog run in the city.”

The expansion of the parking lot, which will be near the Fort Totten−side of the park, will be funded by $2.2 million secured by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside), Melnick said. The restrooms, will be built with $1.3 million in city funds, she said. The station will be located between the parking lot and the service road running near the park, she said.

Both of those projects are still being designed and will be constructed at the same time next fall, she said. The park currently does not have any restrooms.

“It’s for the convenience of the community, so we don’t have construction going on twice,” she said.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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