Idyllwild Dog Park: Now Parched & Barren

LeRoy strolls by an open area in the dog park that once had many trees

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Two things you’ll notice immediately about the Idyllwild Dog Park this week. Many of the ornamental trees have been cut down, and there’s no water available.

The dog park is located inside a fence on the Idyllwild Pines Camp property. The camp donated the land to ICRC, which maintains the dog park for the Idyllwild community.

Manzanitas, oaks, and pines have been cut to stumps. The bushes camelflaging the front gate are gone. Only the tall cedars and pines remain, along with a smattering of trees. Now the sun beats down on the dirt, but dog owners say there hasn’t been any drinking water available for weeks.

The park is divided into two parts, separated by another fence. Each part had its own water spigot in the back with dog bowls underneath. But this week, the bowls remain dry.

When contacted this weekend, ICRC Chairperson John Simpson said, “Idyllwild Pines Camp maintains their property according to their needs.”

Idyllwild Pines Camp, which houses the dog park, is making some changes

He added that ICRC doesn’t pay the water bill; Idyllwild Pines Camp does. But Town Hall is in charge of maintaining the dog park.

“I hate to see anyone cut down live trees,” said Barb, an dog sitter from Idyllwild, who was at the park with her friend, Lori, and their four dogs. The dogs were panting under one shade tree.

Barb pointed to a barren area in the park where only a stump remained.

“There was a beautiful pine tree here just last week,” Barb said. “My dog used to dig underneath it, and now it’s gone.”

She said that perfectly good oak, manzanita and pine trees were cut down to stumps.

“Why would they cut down live trees in a dog park?” she asked. “We need them for shade and our dogs need them to pee on, right?”

"Why would you cut down live trees in a dog park?" asks Barb, a local dog sitter

When asked about the trees, Cindy, from the Idyllwild Pines Camp, said that they’re changing things and moving things around. They’ve cut trees and bushes and plan to add natural plants to the front of the camp.

“We’ve really been needing it for a long time,” Cindy said.

Cindy didn’t know why the water in the dog park had been turned off, but said she’d look into it.

“We wouldn’t shut off the water intentionally,” she said.

Barb said that she called a friend on the ICRC board to ask about the water shut-off.

“Another lady who was just here said that it’s been off for one month,” Barb said. “You’ve gotta have water in a dog park!”

Barb added that she didn’t think that ICRC knew about the cut trees.

No one seems to know why the water in the park has been shut off for weeks

“The camp donated the land, but you’d think they’d let ICRC know what was going on,” she said.

Then Barb smiled for the first time during the conversation.

“Maybe we can plant some more trees here,” she said. “I have a fast-growing pine tree that I just got from the Home Depot.”

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

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the attachments to this post:

Dog Park Empty Bowl

Dog Park Barb

Dog Park Camp Front

Dog Park LeRoy Barren

One Comment to “Idyllwild Dog Park: Now Parched & Barren”

  1. We recently visited Idlyllwild and stayed at the Bluebird Cottage inn. Having come here every year for the past seven years, I couldn’t help but notice how everything had deteriorated. I wonder if the people who live here even realize how much? So many beautiful trees had been cut down in and all around the town, leaving barren, clear-cut areas that were very ugly and uninviting. Our innkeeper told us the Forest Service had come around handing out permits to cut down trees, indicating it needed to be done for fire prevention. Somehow they think they know better than Mother Nature, even though they are always eventually proven wrong. It appeared as though the citizens of Idyllwild might be chopping down the trees all around the town for their fireplaces or to sell or for furniture or whatever. At any rate the town looked junky, unkept, and uncared for. The trees are fast disappearing.

    I had once considered moving here thinking it to be an almost sacred place to get away from it all and to find myself without the interference of big government and bureaucrats. But I have found them to be quite alive and well here and realize I would be doing nothing more than trading the ones from my city for the ones here. After reading the article about the dog park it became crystal clear. Our government agencies are everywhere, making sure our towns and cities are continually degraded in the name of job assurance for their workers. Sad.