Not all BREC dog parks open due to staffing issues caused by COVID-19

Not all BREC dog parks currently open due to staffing issued caused by COVID-19

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Phase 2 guidelines say parks can be open, but that may not be the case for dog parks. BREC’s Burbank Dog Park is still closed.

Once Louisiana reached Phase 2, many were ready to out of their homes including their dogs. Unfortunately, certain dog parks are not able to officially reopen. Ariel Waterman and her dog are regulars to the Burbank Park and were confused when the park didn’t reopen.

“It’s stressful because a lot of people that go to the dog park, they are going because their dogs need to get their energy out. So, it’s difficult having a husky and then having her inside constantly because I don’t have a backyard, I have balcony,” said Waterman.

Ariel and her dog are not the only ones who wish the park would reopen, the park is very popular with dog owners, but the reason why it can’t fully open just yet is because of staffing needed to monitor people at the park.

Communication Director of BREC, Cheryl Michelet explains, “One of the hard things with the dog park is you can’t control where those dogs are going. So, when people are following their dogs then they might not be even trying to do anything wrong, but all of a sudden you have too many people congregating in one area.”

BREC says that due to COVID-19, staff members are being assigned to monitor dog parks to make sure there is social distancing, but BREC’s Burbank is not a community park and does not have a staffing facility. Therefore, the park will remain closed for now.

“We would have the dog park open if we had staff on-site, we do not, so what we have to do is keep sending park rangers or staff over there to make sure that people are following the CDC guidelines and frankly with 180 parks, you know it’s hard to make sure somebody is already there,” says Michelet.

BREC says they’re hoping this is only temporary. They plan to reopen the Burbank Park once the state reaches Phase 3. As of now, Forest, Greenwood, and Zachary dog parks do have monitors and are currently open to dog owners.

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