One of the most popular parks in the Kern Place area has been used for years as an official dog park for residents. Nestled in the Kern Place community is a little gem of a grassy park- Alethea Park. The park has been used for years as a practice field for local high schools, an exercise area thanks to the city's permanent fitness equipment inside the park, and a gathering field for neighborhood dog owners. While many view the park as a community dog park, the truth is that it isn't. According to city signs clearly posted at the entrance of the park, all dogs inside the park must be on a leash at all times. By city law, that means that Aletha is NOT a dog park.

But should it become a legal dog park in Kern? In the neighborhood, there are 3 parks in the area: Madeline, Mission Hill, and Alethea. Most residents think of Madeleine Park as the "family park," where people can lounge on the grass and enjoy playing ball with their kids. There are plenty of playground equipment for the youngsters to choose from and lots of trees to find shade under. Mission Hills park is larger, and many groups use the park to play basketball, tennis, ride their bikes, run, and have semi-organized games. Mission Hills is more of an adult park, but kids are always seen running around enjoying the playground activities too.

That leaves Alethea Park. It's the smallest by far, with almost no trees and no playground equipment for kids. The park is the only one semi-enclosed, with two openings in the front but the rest of the park fenced off. In the back, the desert landscape and the backyards of homes make a natural barrier for the dogs. So it's easy to see why people assume this park is for dogs. It's easy to see why this is the park people feel the most comfortable taking their dogs to to run around and enjoy. Dogs at either Mission Hills or Madeleine would need to be on leashes because of the open terrain and large amount of people seen using the various equipment available. The nearest dog park for resident is almost ten miles away and it takes about 20 minutes to get there, assuming there are no major accidents on Mesa Street or the freeway. SO why don't we turn Alethea Park into a dog park, somewhere convenient and safe for owners to take their dogs to let them roam around and enjoy themselves? Wouldn't an official dog park in the community be an asset to people and a perk to homeowners in the community? If you don't like the dogs running freely, simply don't go. There are other parks you can enjoy that are close-by. But Alethea is the closest we get for a place where our dogs can run free.