Dog park group cuts ties with Arroyo Grande

February 2, 2015

Arroyo Grande dog parkOPINION By EMMA VALDIVIESO

The Five Cities Dog Park Association has terminated its relationship with the City of Arroyo Grande and is no longer responsible for maintaining the Elm Street Dog Park.

During the last seven years, the 10-year-old association’s volunteers spent thousands of hours getting the dog park designed, approved, built, maintained and improved, fund-raising more than $123,000 in the process.

We were exhausted before we wasted hundreds of hours when the city mishandled our application to improve the big dog park and to make it more handicapped-accessible by replacing the wood chips ground cover with a combination of artificial turf and decomposed granite.

While we are clearly disappointed with Arroyo Grande, we thank it for making city park land available for our dogs.

We thank all of our volunteers and donors who contributed to the park and all the park users who have enjoyed being there with their canine companions.

Our decision provides an opportunity for a new group of community-minded dog lovers to create a new organization to work with the city to keep the park open and a safe place for dogs and people to play.

Sincerely yours, Emma Valdivieso on behalf of the Five Cities Dog Park Association Board of Directors.


agag, get your facts straight. I asked what was going on and everything you said is pure bullcrap and you know it. They never claimed they would install kennel grade turf. I read the posts. They did state that they researched and were told that the turf they were using was made specifically for dogs and that there would be minimal smell. They went through the proper channels, they tried to work with the city, they did not get any backing from the city. And lets talk about the volunteers. Where were you when they needed time off? Or any of the people in your angry little mob? Were you one of the ones putting glass in the suggestion box in hopes that one of them might cut themselves? Or are you the one encouraging everyone to bring pepper spray into the dog park? So what did you donate? I want to see proof of the money you donated. Was it $50? $100? More? Well let me tell you and the other whiners crying about the money they donated and how they want it back. Your donations covered maybe a 1/3 or the $98,000.00 of what has been spent on the dog park. And my friend was probably being generous. You also need to take into account all the people that donated to Five Cities Dog Park Association in hopes of getting a park in Pismo Beach. I was one of them and I even worked the booth to get more donations for that very project. Then there are the people that donated money thinking the organization was going to open a dog park in Oceano before we were turned down and ended up with the piece that Arroyo Grande offered. And if you think purchasing items at the Flea Bag Flea market, or purchasing a raffle ticket was donating you are sorely mistaken. Then there is the money generated from people who paid to have a booth at the POD or bought food at the POD. They raised money in so many other ways other than donations but people tend to forget that. You have inflamed a small group but many are smart enough to know that most of the money went to the dog park. It really only needs mutt mitts now. And since the City buys them for every other park in the area why not for the most obvious park? The dog park. The money belongs to the association. They will use it for things that will benefit the dogs. Because they dogs come first with all of them. Who’s true colors are coming through? I would say yours but if you are who we all think you are, your dark colors came out a long time ago.


A. Baker,

I am not now, nor have I ever been part of an angry mob. I do not use the dog park, have never put anything in the donation box, although we have donated when asked to do so, never in ca$h. I have no idea what the Flea Bag market is, nor the POD.

100% of the assumptions you make are 100% incorrect, but not surprising. This is exactly the type of behavior so many dislike about the recent board. You got some bad Intel.

You asked what was going on? And from that you were able to leap to incorrect conclusions by assuming you know who I am. Sheesh, get a grip. I have inflamed a small group? Who? Those of you who don’t like my post? Too bad!

Turf made specifically for dogs IS KENNEL GRADE TURF, anything less is not suitable, period. I realize the board did not like someone pointing this out, but better to do it right the first time, IMO.

There could have been a much better way to handle this. It’s too bad folks weren’t putting the dogs first when the decision was made to quit so suddenly.

I hope the park is able to remain open, many pets and their people enjoy their time there.

Good luck to the park uses who wish to continue on, I wish you luck!


Oh man, ag, seems like Baker went off half-baked, not cool.

Sure be nice if they apologized…obv got you confused with someone else.

If that’s the mentality of those on their way out, let ’em go.


I see it every day. Seems like a smallish little fenced in area where a few older citizens keep overly watchful eyes on people. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable going there but, on the other hand my dogs are well behaved off leash so they wouldn’t benefit by the fenced in feeling.


This board is a bunch of aged crybabies!

They claimed they would be installing kennel grade turf,

yet when they got called out for false advertising, they all quit!

Why not man up, admit you were trying to pull a fast one, and do the right thing?

Taking the $$ that was donated to the park on your way out the door?

Another example of poor character IMO,

that $$$ wasn’t for YOU, it was for the dogs!

The park will be better off without these dishonest folks.

While they may have donated time, and should be thanked for that,

their true colors are coming through.

How disappointing!