I’d like to introduce you all to a little-known street in the farthest NW corner of Evanston, called Bernard Place.
There are nine houses on our little street that dead-ends at Isabella Street and is tucked away behind Lovelace Park, just north of the Hillside Church. We have eight other houses that are part of our little family, so a total of 17 houses just off of Crawford Avenue.
In the past 18 months we’ve helped each other out during the global pandemic with socially distanced block parties, baking for each other, grocery shopping for the more vulnerable among us and lots of playing outdoors in our quiet little corner of Evanston.
During the past 18 months we also “fought” the idea of a skateboard park in our beloved Lovelace Park, arguing that it should be more centrally located, and more recently a proposed dog park. Or so we thought! It seems that Lovelace is quietly still being considered for an off-leash area for our furry friends. And the Bernard Place neighbors are still against it.
Is this a case of NIMBY (not in my backyard)? Well, the proposed site is extremely close to our houses, so it would be loud and people would likely park on our little street at all hours of the day and night. While we welcome the sledders in the winter, a dog park would be 365 days a year!
But more importantly, the proposed area is always wet and would be a very muddy spot for people’s dogs. In fact, right now the city has spent a lot of money putting in a drainage system for that very area!
It’s also a well-used park, with many soccer games, tennis lessons, walkers, joggers, cyclists and kids running up and down the hills and through the fields. Can it take more density?
Putting a dog park this far northwest in Evanston would be like giving Wilmette a dog park and would be difficult for people who live in apartments (and therefore are less likely to have backyards) in downtown and south Evanston to get to.
As someone who is on dog No. 4, I appreciate a good off-leash dog park, but Lovelace is not the right place for one.
I invite everyone to come walk through Lovelace and take a detour onto Bernard Place. You’ll feel like you wandered into a small town that you never knew existed! Let’s find a better place for our four-legged friends to run free!
– Elizabeth Hubbard