From Bok To Bark: Old School Sprouts New Dog Park

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CHRISTINE CUNNIFF and Tim Burke with Audrey, a Collie mix, came from Pennsport to experience camaraderie of the day. With them are Scout designers Emma Rutherford, design director and co-founder; Morgan Jezierski, event & design manager; and Lindsey Scannapieco, project manager. Photo by Maria Merlino

CHRISTINE CUNNIFF and Tim Burke with Audrey, a Collie mix, came from Pennsport to experience camaraderie of the day. With them are Scout designers Emma Rutherford, design director and co-founder; Morgan Jezierski, event & design manager; and Lindsey Scannapieco, project manager. Photo by Maria Merlino

by Maria Merlino

Passyunk Crossing has a new dog park, compliments of Scout Ltd., a collective of young, enthusiastic urban designers and strategy makers who like to think about design at a city scale. The park, located at 9th & Dudley Streets, is an iron-gated outdoor space outside of the former Bok HS.

This outdoor space for the community is just one of the projects being completed with the grant money Lindsey Scannapieco and Scout Ltd. received from the Knight Foundation last year. The $146,960 grant is also going towards projects like a new bus shelter, bike repair station, children’s playground and other worthwhile projects.

LINDSEY SCANNAPIECO, of Scout Ltd., and resident dog, Elwin. Elwin, a rescue, is King of the Office. Photo by Maria Merlino

LINDSEY SCANNAPIECO, of Scout Ltd., and resident dog, Elwin. Elwin, a rescue, is King of the Office. Photo by Maria Merlino

Scannapieco, one of the top 10 Young Guns in the US, is bringing her background in planning, real estate and design to create a space focused on design, entrepreneurship and fabrication. Her company, Scout LLC, was chosen by Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. and the School Reform Commission to redevelop the Bok building after a competitive open-auction process. She is honoring the technical history of the school with artist spaces, offices and creative business such as Fringe Hair Salon.

The grand opening of the park was on Feb. 28, with free treats and tennis balls courtesy of Bryan Hughes, owner of South Philadelphia Tennis Association.

SETH MASSIMINO holds Michter, a Pug Chihuahua mix and Mackenzie Hilton with Harper the Golden Collie mix, enjoy the beautiful weather at the brand new dog park Photo by Maria Merlino

SETH MASSIMINO holds Michter, a Pug Chihuahua mix and Mackenzie Hilton with Harper the Golden Collie mix, enjoy the beautiful weather at the brand new dog park Photo by Maria Merlino

Morgan Jezierski, an event and design manager for Scout, said, “The challenge was how to better our urban space. We noticed people would come into the front of the building, let their dogs relieve themselves, not clean up and we were left with a lot full of dog waste. There was a need for a park.

“We put the idea up at the EPX community meetings and it was approved. It’s working out well. It’s bringing everybody out to meet and socialize, both dogs and people. We wanted to give access to the neighbors.”

NEWLY INSTALLED iron gate leaves no doubt this is a dog park! Photo by Maria Merlino

NEWLY INSTALLED iron gate leaves no doubt this is a dog park! Photo by Maria Merlino

The design elements were pulled from the architecture of the school which includes a pea-gravel groundcover, huge logs for sitting, a rope station, trees, doggy water fountain and concrete benches that double as jumping-off points for play.

The iron gate was repaired and the letters “DOG PARK” were forged on top. There are health rules and courtesy rules posted.

The park is opened from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. A staff member from Scout opens and closes the park.

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