For the past few years, the community of Little Italy has utilized the grassy lawn at Washington Elementary School as a de-facto dog park. This usage of the space has endured new construction, population growth, and even the addition of the County Waterfront Park and playground just down the street.
Amici Park has areas for multi-use, including bocce ball, basketball, and a playground. It has stakeholders ranging from neighborhood residents, to visitors, to students, and guests at our weekly Mercato. Generally speaking, in terms of population, the single-greatest tenant of the park has been dogs. In February, the Little Italy Association leased Amici Park from the school district for a term of 66 years, agreed to perform maintenance on the whole park, and has started planning construction improvements on the space. According to the present plans, an off-leash and secured dog play area is to be included, to formalize what the community has already decided in practice as the best-use of the space.
Recently, in preparation to the changes, the dog-friendly hours and rules at Amici Park have changed. These new rules prohibit any visitors during the day – from 6am – 6pm – and mandate the use of leashes on dogs at all times.
It is very important to convey to the planners of the new Amici Park just how important an area for dogs to play off-leash is, and to emphasize that need even during construction. There will be a neighborhood meeting on Monday, June 1st at 6pm at the Amici Park Amphitheater to discuss these issues. Please come if you support an off-leash dog park in Little Italy. Until then, please see below for other great dog parks in San Diego.