MANHATTAN – The Carl Schurz Park Conservancy, a non-profit whose mission it is to ‘restore and beautify’ the Upper East Side’s premier park, is now shaming neighbors for using a lawn as a dog run, while also apparently abandoning maintenance of the deteriorating green space.
A laminated sign showing a lush green lawn hangs on the fence blocking off a large swath of lawn inside the north end of the park— located on East End Avenue north of East 89th Street, next to Gracie Mansion— with a passive-aggressive (maybe not so passive) message in all capital letters for passers-by to read.
“THIS LAWN CANNOT BE MAINTAINED,” the sign posted by the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy reads.
“IT HAS BEEN DESTROYED BY DOGS WHOSE OWNERS ARE USING IT AS A DOG RUN.”
ALSO READ | Gopuff’s UES ‘Dark Store’ Opens to the Public
On its website, the conservancy says its goal is “to enhance the public’s enjoyment and involvement in the Park,” though the sign shaming dog owners had park-goers doing a double-take.
“I found it obnoxious,” said Teresa, who is fostering a dog, “the sign should have been phrased completely differently.”
“They are also ignoring the fact that sledding ruins the area as well,” she added.
It’s not clear why the conservancy chose to post the offensive sign only in this area of the sprawling park— which stretches from East 84th to East 90th Streets— when there are a several lawns that are also in poor condition and marked as off limits to pets.
In fact, a large area south of Gracie Mansion is in quite deteriorated and covered with mulch after being reopened to the public in January, nineteen months after NYPD barricades were installed in the park during social justice protests.
Carl Schurz Park is already home to two separate dog runs, one for small dogs and one for larger dogs. However, some dog owners say that the dedicated dog runs are not safe.
“You know that dog run over there, dogs have gotten bitten, why would I take my dog there?” one concerned neighbor told Upper East Site.
“So, where do you want us to take our dog? Don’t shame us for it,” they added.
The sign remained hanging on the fence on Friday— and can be expected to be there on Saturday as well, during the ‘Every Day is Earth Day’ park-wide exhibition highlighting the conservancy’s work in Carl Schurz Park— which now apparently includes shaming dog owners.
“The two areas they have for dogs are woefully inadequate. One is tiny and concrete and the other is a mess of dirt,” said Teresa.
“I think it would be fair to have a grassy area where dogs are permitted,” she added.
Upper East Site has reached out to the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy for comment on the sign and more details about whether they plan repair the lawn at some point, but has not heard back.