The file download below provide slides representing the results of an EDOA survey of members regarding their attitudes and opinion about dog parks and the potentiality of dog parks in Eastham.
There is no such park in the works, or proposed. The purpose of the survey was to take a measure of the membership’s opinion on the topic and thus provide the Board of Directors some guidance on the topic.
Thank you for the OUTSTANDING response to the Dog Park survey. Participation was several times higher than is usual for this type of request. Most impressive are the notes, showing clearly the careful consideration of many respondents.
Facts and Insights from the EDOA Dog Park Survey
- We had 48 EDOA members respond to the survey, 40 full time residents and 8 part-time residents.
- The average number of dogs owned by respondents was 1.5.
- Locations where dogs are exercised was spread fairly even between Beaches (29), Trails (28), Roads (25) and Parks (23).
- Out of 48 respondents, 30 have visited a dog park, locations included both on cape and off.
- The top three dog park models favored: fenced (16), unleashed public parks (16), unfenced unleashed dog designated area (12).
- Respondents that preferred not to use a dog park (9).
- The top three concerns regarding dog parks were – Dogs Banned from Dog Friendly areas (22), By-Law Changes (9), and Maintenance (9). 15 respondents had (0) concerns regarding dog parks.
- *Respondents opinion that Eastham was Dog Friendly: average is 7.02 and median is 8. (Range 1-10)
- *Respondents interest in a dog park: average is 5.75 and median is 5.5 (Range 0-10)
What the EDOA survey committee found interesting about the data is that the additional comments that were entered by some respondents helped us understand why a member was either interested or not interested in a dog park. Interest level depended on their personal situation with their dogs. For example, if a dog owner felt comfortable walking their dog on leash or off leash in an open environment, there was little interest in a dog park, if a dog owner felt more comfortable allowing their dog to exercise in a protected fenced area there was much more interest in a dog park. The specific question asking for a rating on Dog Park Interest was pretty closely cut down the middle.
Another insight was from the question regarding preference of dog park models. (9) respondents preferred not to use a dog park, (16) respondents preferred a fenced dog park, (2) respondents gave no answer, which left (21) respondents that given a choice of a dog park preferred an off-leash open environment, whether or not it was formally designated or a de facto dog exercise area.
*both the average and median are provided for these results, median is a mid-point of all answers which is felt to be a more robust statistic than average, as it is more resistant to swings from data outliers
The Takeaway: While there is interest in a dog park there is also concern that the status quo would be threatened by the creation of a dedicated park. While numbers tell a story they do not tell the whole story. A survey like this does not take into consideration the passion a respondent has for their point of view. Only live and open discussion can plunge those depths.
With legitimate opinions to the contrary, members generally see Eastham as rather dog friendly. There seems no imperative from these results for EDOA to press for a dog park given the risks and costs (both financial and political). However, if circumstances change the EDOA will revisit this position.