These principles are the criteria that we use to make decisions within the Winnemac Park DFA Committee, and address both how we want to work together, and with our neighbors, as well as what kind of space we want our Dog Friendly Area to become. They are a working document, open to revision and additions in response to feedback from members of our Committee, and the broader community.

  1. Inclusion: We will seek to meaningfully include and consider the needs of the broadest range of both dog-owning and non-dog-owning stakeholders in our decision-making. This includes processes that meaningfully engage community members beyond just what is needed to “check a box.”

  2. Transparency: Communication between the DFA Committee, its leadership, and broader stakeholders will be open, clear, honest and consistent.

  3. Maximizing Value: Within our limitations, we will pursue designs for the DFA that maximize the space’s value for the broadest range of stakeholders.

  4. Behavioral Science-Informed: We will pursue design principles that are informed by the most relevant canine behavioral research to ensure that the space is as safe and positive as possible for the dogs who use it.

  5. Innovation: We will seek creative and inspiring solutions for designing a “best of class” DFA.

  6. Equity: We will seek to ensure that both our processes and the eventual DFA will be fully accessible and accountable to historically and currently marginalized residents such as Black, latinx and other people of color, low-income people, people with disabilities, etc., and avoid any unintended consequences that may disproportionately affect these residents.

  7. Sustainability: We will seek design solutions that minimize any potential negative impacts of the DFA on the environment and surrounding ecology, and that when possible, promote ecological restoration (e.g. green infrastructure, permeable surfaces, etc.)