Yucca Valley

Yucca Valley’s Essig dog Park closing until October 30

Earlier this year, with funding from the Town’s Measure K, Yucca Valley, decided to upgrade Essig Park’s dog areas. They began with a public survey, plans, and designs, and a contract awarded to IMR Inc. on May 30. The well-reviewed plans come with a three-month closure starting on June 19 and ending on October 30. Many pet owners are unsure where to take their dogs during the closure.

It was a beautiful day, just warm enough but not hot. I got to the park around five in the afternoon, and people began arriving—first, a few, and then a small crowd. Three young women with two small dogs and a baby were sitting on a blanket in the grassy field, away from the fenced-off dog sections. They vaguely remembered filling out the questionnaire about the renovations. They said they came every couple of months when the weather was agreeable.

What would they do when the park was closed? They shrugged. They didn’t know. Other opinions ranged from “We’ll take walks until the park opens again” to others that were very unhappy about the closure and concerned about their dogs not having companionship. One young woman admitted she had tripped on the patchy grass that now existed in dog areas and almost twisted her ankle. They all thought the changes would eventually be beautiful and welcomed, but they would have to make new plans for now.

The dogs around me leaped, ran, and bolted at each other in mutual play, thoroughly enjoying themselves and their canine friendships. It will feel like a long time, but the community will welcome the completed renovations.


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After a long successful career as a Photostylist and producer in New York and Los Angeles, Hilary Sloane moved to the Morongo Basin and began a new career as a journalist and documentary photographer, getting a journalism certification from Michigan…

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