All good things must come to an end—especially if the good thing is charging membership dues to city-owned park space without express permission. After an outraged NY Post article detailing how a group of dog owners "hijacked a public Tribeca pup park nearly a decade ago," the Parks Department has reopened the Tribeca Dog Run for everyone.

"Dog runs are maintained through barknerships between NYC Parks and community groups. NYC Parks dog runs are meant to be open to the public — charging for entrance is prohibited," said Sam Biederman, a NYC Parks spokesperson. As parts of those "barknerships," dog run groups are expected to encourage positive human behavior, like picking up waste and filling up any holes that dogs dig.

The private group, Dog Owners of Tribeca, had been charging $120/year for access to a small dog run on Warren Street, which abuts P.S. 234. Earlier this month, the Broadsheet, a publication focused on lower Manhattan, reported on how the local community board discovered the Department of Education was taking care of its share of the city-owned land while the Parks Department hadn't been maintaining it.

Community Board 1 member Bob Townley pointed out that the DOE spent $500,000 to update their side but the dog run, which had previously collapsed, never underwent a renovation: "The Parks Department called me back after a year. They finally looked at the dog run, and now they’re going to meet with the dog run people."

Two board members of the group, Dog Owners of Tribeca (website now offline), Shirley Jaffe and Jared Scheer, wrote to the Broadsheet later, admitting to taking over the park:

For well over a decade, the Park has been insured, cleaned, repaired, outfitted, and maintained entirely by our community group, with zero contribution from the Parks Department, monetarily or otherwise. The result is a park that is power-washed 3x a week, exceptionally clean, and a model for others. The expenses for doing so have always been 100% absorbed by the community that the park serves, and was achieved through a nominal $10/month membership fee.

Last week, after years of absenteeism and apathy, the Parks Department demanded that we immediately dismantle our existing membership-based program and take the keycode off the park’s door, while simultaneously refusing, at least initially, to bear any responsibility for the expenses or maintenance relating to the park moving forward. In essence, we were instructed to continue funding the park and stripped of the tools to do so. At the same time, the Parks Department in turn sought to impose their authority, without offering any accountability.

As stewards for the park, we pushed back and refused to do so unless Parks affirmatively accepts responsibility for the insurance, and expenses relating to services even as basic as garbage removal and maintenance.

Parks finally acquiesced, but has now come back and insisted that our organization remove all of the benches and pools in the park because they were not Parks Department-issued, without necessarily planning on replacing them. The irony of course is that had Parks provided these items in the first place, our organization wouldn’t have had to.

The pair added, "Ultimately, we are amenable to the Parks Department’s newfound interest in taking over responsibility for the park, but the keyword here is 'responsibility.' What we cannot accept however is a scenario where the Parks Department strips the park down to nothing, as they’re suggesting doing, and leaving nothing in its wake."

The Post's Saturday story offered spicy details like how there were "22 strict rules, the first being that non-members were not allowed into the park and members were mandated to chase them out if they tried. If members failed to do so, they were kicked out of the group."

The Post witnessed this exclusionary behavior on Thursday, when two locals were turned away in the span of three hours.

“Could you let me in?” one woman walking a poodle puppy asked.

“No, it’s private!” two members inside the fence barked.

Among the other rules: no children under 12 allowed; no food, and no “socially inept dogs.”

What happened to the first rule of Private Dog Run Club being NEVER TALK ABOUT PRIVATE DOG RUN CLUB?

The dog run in action (Yelp review)

The Dog Owners of Tribeca formed as a non-profit and, per the Post, "raked in $83,000 in 'membership dues' through 2016, according to their tax filings." Many dog owners associations across the city form non-profits, but the runs remain public, like the Washington Square Park's dog run group, which explains, "Did you know we are responsible for paying for everything that goes on in the run? This includes poop bags, equipment, maintenance, special anaerobic spray to break down ickyness in the gravel, etc. In addition, we hold events such as donation drives for NYC shelters, free training, agility events, our awesome Halloween party and more. Your donations also help pay for signage and promotion of these events."

A Yelper wrote three reviews between 2011 and 2013, noting that the Tribeca dog run on Warren Street was well-maintained but then discovered there was a mandatory fee: "The fee is low--only about $12 or so a month, I think--but because I don't live in the neighborhood and only currently walk one dog in Tribeca, I can't really swing the membership. Maybe in the future."

By Sunday, the Parks Department "cut the locks," allowing all puppers to play. One dog owner, who told the Post "he joined the association in 2008 out of fear that if he didn’t, the park would become a 'rotting crap hole,'" was pleased. "The more friendly dogs to play with, the better," he added.