PARK WOULD BENEFIT NON-DOG PEOPLE
There are those among us who don't particularly care for dogs, and there are those among us who have no use at all for the irresponsible sort of dog owner. Could those folks possibly benefit from Bethel's having a dog park? I believe so, and here's why.
Twenty-odd years ago, skiers regarded snowboarders as young, brash beginners. They were happy to see ski areas either ban snowboarders or limit them to a few slopes, and they resented the halfpipes that some ski areas built to attract snowboarders. Those skiers that were paying attention, though, came to appreciate those halfpipes, because the snowboarders spent much of their time there, which kept them off the regular trails. The snowboarders didn't use the lifts as much, either, because they were content to walk back to the top of the halfpipe. There was no need for Ski Patrol to monitor the halfpipes, for the snowboarders themselves enforced halfpipe etiquette through peer pressure.
More recently, there used to be complaints in Bethel about skateboarders riding on streets and sidewalks in the village. I've heard no such complaints since Bethel got a skate park, though, for a similar reason – the skateboarders cannot be on the streets and in the skate park at the same time, and they'd rather be in the park. The same peer pressure, too, keeps things pretty orderly.
You might think of a dog park as a place where dogs willingly confine themselves, like a halfpipe or a skate park. Yes, the dogs might bark, but they're barking way over there, not where you are. And yes, the dogs might poop, but remember this: every dump that a dog takes in the dog park is a dump that it's not taking someplace else. I suspect that peer pressure among dog owners will keep that dog park more poop-free than the rest of Bethel.