DONE DEAL: Ruppert Park Renovation Will Include Dedicated Dog Run

Ruppert Park's current makeshift dog run/UES Dog Collective
Ruppert Park's current makeshift dog run/UES Dog Collective

MANHATTAN – Dog owners fighting for the inclusion of a dog run in the upcoming renovation of Ruppert Park in Yorkville emerged victorious Wednesday night, after Community Board 8 voted 37-0, with one board member abstaining, to approve a redesign plan for the popular Upper East Side park that includes the much needed space for their pets. 

Support for the dog run was led by the UES Dog Collective, a grassroots group of dog owners living near Ruppert Park who have been vocal about including a dog run in the nearly $9 million renovation plan for the park, which sits on Second Avenue between East 90th and 91st Streets. 

“We are thrilled that Community Board 8 has voted in favor of an accessible and inclusive design for the renovations that meets the needs of all Upper East Siders, including parents, children, and dog-owners,” the UES Dog Collective said in a statement.

Makeshift dog run at Ruppert Park/Upper East Site
Makeshift dog run at Ruppert Park/Upper East Site

Thirty members of the collective logged onto the Community Board 8 meeting Wednesday night, in addition to the four hundred emails sent by collective members– expressing broad support for a Ruppert Park dog run.

ALSO READ | Popular UES Pet Shop Closes Following Heartbreaking Undercover Investigation

“Being able to have this park that augments the play area for the children, makes it more usable and accessible to all members of the public, and also includes a dog run that the community uses, is a really wonderful compromise,” Yasha Chittampalli told the board.

Community Board committee approves 'option B' Ruppert Park redesign with dog run
Community Board committee approves ‘option B’ Ruppert Park redesign with dog run/NYC Parks

Getting to Wednesday night’s vote in favor of a dog run wasn’t easy. 

Last December, when NYC Parks initially proposed the redesign, it had a glaring error. The layout was missing space for a dedicated dog run, despite dog owners having already allowed their pets to use two large sections of Ruppert Park as such— destroying all the vegetation in those areas in the process, accelerating its overall deterioration. 

Hearing the outcry from the community, NYC Parks came back with a second design in January, which included a dog run for the Upper East Side park. That plan was approved by Community Board 8’s Parks and Waterfront committee in a 5-2 vote last month, leaving a full board vote as the dog run’s final obstacle to overcome. 

Northeast corner of Ruppert Park destroyed by dog run/Upper East Site
Northeast corner of Ruppert Park destroyed by dog run/Upper East Site

In order to add the fenced 1750 square foot dog run to Ruppert Park’s redesign, a planned bathroom was moved from the northeast corner to the southeast corner of the park, as well as a redesigned fence. 

Not everyone was in favor of the addition.

“I envision the Ruppert dog park as a smelly and uninviting part of the beautiful park,“ said Stephanie Recker, voicing her opposition to the board.

ALSO READ | Fire Damages Popular UES Seafood Restaurant Flex Mussels

“Irresponsible dog owners are going to be irresponsible wherever they are.”

Opponents of the dog run previously complained they wanted more space for ‘humans’ rather than dogs— and implored the board to add more space for children.

Construction at Ruppert park is expected to begin in 2023.

For updates around the clock, follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook

American Kennels permanently closed after Humane Society Investigation/Upper East Site

UPDATED: Popular UES Pet Shop Closes Following Heartbreaking Undercover Investigation

Steve Martin, Selena Gomez and Martin Short film 'Only Murders in the Building' at the Mansion diner/Upper East Site

SEE IT: Selena Gomez, Steve Martin & Martin Short Spotted as ‘Only Murders’ Returns to the UES