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Despite Obama Promise, Stimulus Funds Blown on Beltway Dog Parks


Posted by Alyssa Canobbio on Friday, February 21st, 2014, 1:59 PM PERMALINK


The White House hasn’t said much this week to celebrate the five year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and it is no wonder. While some projects weren’t exactly “shovel ready,” two dog parks in tony DC neighborhoods were deemed pooper-scooper ready, a violation of President Obama’s promise in March 2009 to do “everything in our power” to prevent stimulus money from going to dog parks.

One dog park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Marion Park, was given $90,825 in stimulus funds. The park has been deemed one of the “Best Places to Hang With Your Dog in the DC Area” by the local CBS news affiliate. According to the Chicago Tribune the money was used for “repainting the existing fence, sidewalk repair, and purchasing new benches and trash cans for the park.”

Pictured: Stimulus sign in Capitol Hill dog park. The park was  named one of the “Best Places to Hang With Your Dog in the DC Area.” Stimulus signs were posted prominently on both ends of the park.

The other dog park receiving stimulus funds is the S Street Dog Park located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. The park is now equipped with a new cutting-edge AstroTurf that wicks away dog waste and keeps precious little Muffin’s paws clean. The park was also fitted with a water fountain in case Muffin’s owners forgot their bottle of Voss

Pictured: Massive stimulus sign in DC’s S Street Dog Park

One dog owner in the neighborhood raved on Yelp about the AstroTurf, the free poop bags and the water fountains. She also claims that her dog refuses to run on any other type of surface:

“The best thing about this dog park is the surface... instead of the harsh gravel surfaces that the other dog parks in the city have, and that Emma the Wonderdog refuses to run on, this park has Astroturf! And Emma the Wonderdog loves to run on Astroturf! 

The only downside of this park is that it is really small... too small to let Emma the Wonderdog hit her full stride. It is, however, a GREAT use of space by the city, and it is great they have a doggy water fountain and plenty of poop bags for all.

While President Obama and his Democratic allies launch a political war on “inequality”, taxpaying families throughout the country will surely be thrilled to know their hard earned money went to support not only dog parks, but dog parks possibly used by the very well-heeled lobbyists and Obama administration staff who pushed for the stimulus in the first place.  As noted recently by the Washington Post, the DC area has more than one third of the nation’s “super zips.” To qualify as a Super Zip, the average household income must be $120,000 or higher. Both the Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle dog parks fall into this category.

In a speech made to the National Conference of State Legislatures in March 2009, President Obama made a promise to “do everything in our power” to prevent stimulus funds from paying for dog parks:

“Now, no plan is perfect. And I can't stand here and promise you that not one single dollar will slip through the cracks. But what I can promise you is that we will do everything in our power to prevent that from happening, which is why we're building on the provisions in the Recovery Act to forbid the use of these funds to build things like dog parks.

Nothing says jumpstarting the economy like a fancy dog park. The stimulus is now 33 years old in dog years. To all the taxpayers in the hinterlands, beltway residents and their dogs would like to extend a hearty thank you.

“Poop bag. Stat.”

“Tell me more about these free poop bags.”

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