How to Keep Your Dog’s Journey to the Center…

Foster a sense of belonging and community

Dogs and their owners also have a profound direct and indirect impact on the humans who care for Central Park. Serina Griffin, a member of the Central Park Conservancy’s Community Relations team, interacts daily with the Central Park dog community. This close-knit team of friendly and knowledgeable Conservancy employees assists and maintains relationships with a wide variety of park groups, including dog owners.

“As a member of this team, I want to develop a relationship with members of the community and really get to know them – and for them to know me too. I think this is where my role is different from those who enforce the rules. » While NYC Parks creates and enforces park rules and regulations, the Conservancy is invested in how community behavior affects the condition and longevity of Central Park. Serina’s sentiment encapsulates the heart of the team’s approach to managing Central Park’s dog regulations: a genuine desire to foster a sense of community and collaboration rather than exert authority. “I want to reach out to people, let them know their expectations and have a conversation about what’s best for the park and the community.”

Serina understands that this mission goes beyond simple respect for the rules; it’s about building bridges with park visitors and protecting those who work diligently to keep this park the remarkable place that it is. Central Park Conservancy staff members, in various roles, often find themselves repairing damage to landscapes and the fences erected to protect them, only to see them broken into again by dog ​​owners looking for space so their pets can play.

The consequences of excavation, landscape damage and other dog-related issues can lead to deterioration, closures and safety issues. The cumulative toll can influence the experiences of an entire community of visitors and staff, and it goes beyond isolated incidents.

“It can be easy to think it doesn’t matter, but then you really see (the impact),” Serina says. “You realize it’s bigger than that, it’s bigger than just a lawn. It’s about the entire park and the comfort and safety of others.

In Central Park, the path to harmonious coexistence among all park visitors is paved with mutual understanding, collaboration, and a shared desire to create a space where everyone can enjoy the beauty and tranquility that this green space has to offer.

Amileah Sutliff is a senior marketing writer and editor at the Central Park Conservancy.


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