The Dog Yard is the result of a semester long study of the role that public spacesplay in communities, focused on Monroe Park in Richmond, VA. Named after James Monroe, the park holds historic significance and has served different functions in its 160 + years of existence, including the site for agricultural exhibitions, marching grounds for confederate troops, and a carnival grounds. No renovations or changes have been made to Monroe Park in fifty years, and the upkeep of this historical landmark has been vastly unsatisfactory.
Our project goal was to propose an idea to improve the park by making it more inviting to residents. There has been a lack of a distinct community presence in the park especially considering its location in the city-at the center of the aptly named Monroe Park Campus of VCU and at the intersection of 4 neighboring communities.
As we considered different proposals, we considered additional aspects that the community needs. Richmond is a very dog-friendly city, in that there are dogs everywhere. However, for such a large city, there are surprisingly few off-leash dog parks and none within walking distance of the VCU campus, which is problematic seeing as few students have cars.
Thus, we created a proposal for a 1.5 acre section of Monroe Park to become "The Dog Yard."