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Saturday, September 10, 2011

New volunteer group formed to oversee Mason District Dog Park

The Mason District Dog Park has a new sponsor: A group of dog owners who use the park frequently formed a volunteer organization, the Annandale K9 Community, to take responsibility for working with county officials to maintain the park.

The Mason District Dog Park, accessible from Little River Turnpike and Roberts Avenue, is one of seven fenced-in parks where well-behaved dogs can run and play freely without leashes. The county dog parks are public/private partnerships developed in cooperation with sponsoring organizations.

The Mason District Dog Opportunity Group had been the dog park’s sponsor since it opened in 2002. But since then, some of the members have moved away or their dogs passed on, and the group was down to one member.

So the Annandale K9 Community stepped in, says one of its founders, Tracy Lee, who has a gigantic Newfoundland named Totoro who loves to romp around in the park.

Lee says there are usually about 30 dogs and their owners at the park every morning, and another 30 or so after work. “The park is getting a lot more popular,” she says. It’s as much a social gathering place for dog owners as it is for dogs. The park’s capacity is 62 dogs.

The sponsoring organizations serve as the Fairfax County Park Authority’s liaison with users, local residents, animal control, and the police department. They monitor the park, clean up the facilities, publicize the park rules and regulations, and report maintenance needs to the park authority.

About 20 people came to the Annandale K9 Community’s last meeting, Lee reports. The members raise funds for things like plastic bags for collecting dog poop and fixing up the park. They convinced the county to do some regrading in August after the park suffered damage from storms.

Lee says the group is now working on getting the county to put in shade shelters, make the entrance areas accessible to people with disabilities, and fix the drainage problems. The recent torrential rains caused quite a bit of damage. “The Park Authority will let us know how much of the cost we will need to cover,” she says.

If you’re interested in joining the Annandale K9 Community, send an email to

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