At 1.8 acres, Esprit Park is the Dogpatch's largest green space. It is located between Minnesota and Indiana Streets and bordered by 19th and 20th. It is a lush meadow with towering Redwood trees that provide a green oasis in a growing neighborhood.
Toes and Paws supports a model for Esprit Park wherein the South Meadow is a legal, official, off-leash dog area, while the North Meadow is an on-leash-only area. This is similar to a model used at Duboce Park, wherein neighbors similarly worked out a plan that would benefit all members of the community. We recommend the use of the existing trees and additional shrubs or minimal fencing as a divider between the two spaces, but caution against fencing the entire area to discourage against dog walkers with multiple off-leash dogs.
Toes and Paws does not advocate for turning the entire park into an off-leash park. We respect and understand the wishes of other neighbors who desire to use the park without having to worry about dogs running around.
Other park additions we support include increased lighting, doggie bag and dog waste stations to support responsible pet ownership, water fountains, and updated and improved "parcourse" exercise equipment.
Esprit Park was developed in the 1980s as a private park for the employees of the Esprit de Corps company. It was maintained and landscaped by private gardeners. At the time, the company had 300 employees and Dogpatch had about 200 residents. After the company's sale, the park was generously donated to the city by owners Doug Tompkins and Susie Tompkins Buell.
Esprit Park is the only park in Dogpatch over 1 acre. Unfortunately, it was never developed to sustain the neighborhood's current capacity, or the hundreds of new residents expected in the coming years. There are also no new green spaces being planned in Dogpatch proper.
Rec and Park doesn't have the budget to maintain Esprit Park in its current state. There are underlying infrastructure, irrigation, and foliage issues that need to be addressed. It needs to "get well".
Esprit Park has historically been friendly to off-leash dogs through neighborhood agreements. Rec and Park however occasionally gets calls from neighbors protesting the dogs and they are required to show up and hand out tickets which average $150 per violation. Other official dog areas in the neighborhood are inadequate for actively recreating with dogs and many present safety concerns for residents.