Kansas City, Missouri, spends $56 million a year on a park system that has struggled to keep up with the times. Only one of the city's 212 parks offers an off-leash dog park, so Deb Hipp led an effort to give our furry friends a place to pant and frolic inside Sunnyside Park in Waldo. Yes, Hipp is a former staff writer at the Pitch, but that's not why we're noting her achievement this year. She's earned it, damn it, putting in countless hours fighting for approval and money. She found an architect, marched in parades, sold T-shirts, held raffles and inspired pet owners with frequent e-mail updates ("Visualize dog park!"). A seeming no-brainer, the Waldo dog park faced the opposition of a small but noisy group of grumps. The parks board nixed the idea a few weeks ago but is now reconsidering. Parks board, ignore dog lovers at your peril.