This dog is sitting on the new, easier-to-maintain pea gravel surface installed at the dog run this past summer.

By Lori Longbotham

The Jackson Heights’ Canine Recreation and Entertainment Wonderland underwent an overhaul this summer with the installation of a new easy-to-maintain surface. The dog run, also known as JH CREW, received a shipment of 60 tons of pea gravel to cover the doggy park to a depth of about four inches.

Woodchips were the original surface when JHCREW opened Memorial Day Weekend in 2010. That material did not hold up well, however, in particular because of droppings from pigeons that roosted under the railroad trestle above the dog run.

After getting a prohibitive estimate of $14,000 to replace the woodchips, JHCREW leaders explored other options and discovered pea gravel, smooth rounded stones in contrast to the rougher more common gravel. Pea gravel is considered one of the best surfaces for dog runs across the country and can be easily cleaned by hosing it down. And unlike wood chips, pea gravel does not absorb dog urine.

The project was not quite as simple as that, however. First JHCREW members pitched in to remove tons of old wood chips. Then because the entrance to the dog run was too small to permit a dump truck to enter, JHCREW hired a young man, his Bobcat, and two assistants to move the gravel into the dog run from the street where it had been dumped. The job was more complicated. The gate was too small to fit even the Bobcat, so the pea gravel was delivered bucket by bucket over the dog-run fence, and then spread by two assistants. The project took a full day, which happened to have been one of the summer’s hottest.

Total cost for the pea gravel was $3,346, including the cost of spreading the stones. Our parent organization, JHBG, paid for the work

A bit of history:

Sponsored by the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, the dog run was built next to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway at 69th Street between 34th and 35th Avenues by the N.Y. State Department of Transportation, which owns the land. JHCREW has about 85 members, and many have more than one dog. The dog run covers about 6,000 square feet. The space set aside for large dogs is 37 feet by 100 feet; the small dog area is 34 feet by 65 feet.

JHCREW would love to have more members—the more dogs to play with, the better!

Becoming a member of the dog run is easy: Go to the JHCREW website and download the simple application, fill it out, and snail mail it to the address listed on the application with your dog’s vaccination record, NYC license number, and a suggested donation of $25.00 made out to JHBG. Please do not email the application to website.