PROSPECT PARK — Prospect Park’s canine cool-off spot will be off-limits for the rest of the summer.
The park’s popular Dog Beach is set to close next week through the spring of 2017 so the area's pavement, fencing and shoreline can be renovated, the Prospect Park Alliance said.
The project will replace the doggy swimming area’s pavement with stone slabs quarried from upstate New York — to recreate the look of Adirondack stream beds, the parks group said — and install new mesh and cable fencing that is safe for animals, replacing the existing chain link fencing around the beach.
The renovation, begun in its design phase last year, will also include major improvements to the swimming area’s water line, located on the Upper Pool at the south end of the Long Meadow, with the removal of invasive aquatic plants and the planting of native species to stabilize the pool edge, the Alliance said.
The park's other dog swimming area — the Peninsula in Prospect Park Lake — will be unaffected by the restoration. However, recent testing by the state's Department of Environmental Conservation found a rise in harmful algae blooms in Prospect Park, the Alliance said. Dog owners are currently discouraged from bringing their pooches to swim in the park's waters because of the ongoing issue.
A rendering of the restored Dog Beach in Prospect Park shows the new stone to be installed on the lake edge where four-legged friends are allowed to swim. (Prospect Park Alliance)
President of the Prospect Park Alliance Sue Donoghue said the group has seen “a great deal of community support” for the restoration of the beach, created as an experiment in 1998 to provide a place for dogs in the park that also maintained a natural habitat.
"Improving the area will ensure that dogs and their owners have a beautiful, unique amenity to enjoy, while we enhance the health of the lakeshore for wildlife,” she said in a statement.
The work is part of a larger effort started this spring to renovate the nearby Long Meadow Ballfields with funding from Council Members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin as well as Borough President Eric Adams and the council’s Brooklyn Delegation.
Information about how much the restoration would cost was not immediately available.
“We’re making sure canines and humans alike have the best experience they can in Brooklyn’s Backyard,” Lander said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing a newly improved Dog Beach next spring, and many excited pups and wagging tails enjoying Prospect Park to its fullest.”
CORRECTION: Due to a miscommunication from the Prospect Park Alliance, a previous version of this article stated that weekly testing of Prospect Park's waters showed that no algae blooms harmful to dogs have been detected in the park this year. However recent testing by the state's Department of Environmental Conservation has found a rise in harmful algae blooms in the park. Dog owners are discouraged from letting their dogs swim in the park's waters.