In a heartwarming community gathering, officials and local residents celebrated the opening of the new Frank Decolvenaere Dog Run in Shore Road Park last week. This remarkable transformation of an abandoned asphalt space into a haven for Bay Ridge's four-legged friends and their owners was possible through a $1 million investment from councilmember Brannan.
The dog run is a tribute to the memory of Frank Decolvenaere, a longtime resident of Bay Ridge, who was killed by a speeding driver in 2020 while walking his dog. The dog, Stormy, was also injured, but managed to make a ten-block journey home to alert the family.
"Parks and green spaces are essential to the well-being of all New Yorkers, including our furry companions," said NYC Parks Borough Commissioner Martin Maher. "I take immense pride in witnessing this neglected area morph into a brand new community asset, destined to be enjoyed by generations of Bay Ridge residents, both human and canine. My heartfelt gratitude goes to CM Brannan for championing this vital project, an enduring tribute to the legacy of Frank Decolvenaere."
Council Member Justin Brannan, an avid dog lover himself, shared his excitement: "Leigh and I share our home with two retired racing greyhounds, Luna and Fiorello, who've been absolutely beside themselves with anticipation since we told them about this new dog run! It's an incredible addition for Bay Ridge and dog enthusiasts everywhere. I hope this tribute to Frank Decolvenaere brings fond memories to his loved ones; I have no doubt Frank would have been overjoyed to see this become a reality. Kudos to NYC Parks for making it happen."
The new dog run accommodates dogs of all sizes and offers comfortable seating, an accessible walkway, and water access for both the canine and human visitors. Responding to community feedback from public meetings, the site includes a synthetic turf area designed especially for dogs and open turf spaces for everyone to enjoy. The area has been equipped to manage stormwater efficiently, replacing the previous asphalt surface with more permeable materials.