Mission eyes new city dog park as SMSD closes off informal one at Rushton Elementary

Rushton no pets allowed sign

The Shawnee Mission School District posted these 'No Pets Allowed' signs at Rushton Elementary School in Mission recently after dog owners were letting their pets off leash during school hours — and not picking up after their pets. Photo credit Juliana Garcia.

Some may have noticed the recent ‘No Pets Allowed’ signs posted at Rushton Elementary in Mission.

The Shawnee Mission School District put the signs up in the last few weeks after owners let their dogs off-leash during the school day — at times when students were accessing the field, Chief Communications Officer David Smith said.

Another issue, Smith said, is that not all dog owners have been picking up their dog’s waste.

While Smith said he could not confirm how long Rushton’s open field has been used as an informal dog park, some residents in the surrounding area say they have been using it for quite some time.

Such is the case with Rebecca Treadway, a neighbor who posted on NextDoor that she’s been taking her dogs to Rushton for years.

Still, the informal dog park was never technically allowed, Smith said, as the district had not given permission for dogs to be on school property.

Rushton neighbors may not be able to use the elementary school as a dog park anymore, but Mission City Administrator Laura Smith said a future dog park is on the table for the city.

Broadmoor Park, 5701 Broadmoor Street, is the current contender for a new dog park, Smith said. Currently, the prospective park is in the middle of a conceptual design process, she said.

A steering committee has had several meetings about a Broadmoor dog park but has yet to make a public presentation or a presentation to the neighborhood adjacent to Broadmoor, Smith said.

Mission will need to host a neighborhood meeting and look at information collected through a public survey before moving forward with a dog park, she said.

“While there are no final decisions, the conversations around the dog park are certainly alive and well in Mission,” Laura said.