Vivian Merrill

Dec 312013
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The next Chelmsford Dog Association meeting is scheduled for January 8, at the Police Station Community room, starting at 7PM.

We’d like to start planning our Spring fundraising event to support the future Chelmsford Dog Park at Richardson Rd, and we’re looking for new ideas. We usually do a large Flea Market. We can expand on this, or do something totally different, or we can do multiple events.

If you’ve ever thought about organizing a public event, or would like to give it a try, please join us on the 8th-we’d love to meet you!

For anyone interested in making those last minute donations for the tax year, you can donate directly to the Dog Park by sending a check to either the CDA or the Town of Chelmsford, and specify that you are supporting the Dog Park. CDA is now a federally approved (501(c)(3)) charitable organization, and all donations are tax deductible.

Apr 182013
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In going through my e-mails today, I came across a newsletter from the website about frugal living. It contained a list of plants that keep various pests away, and there were several links to making homemade flea treatments for pets, tips on keeping ants at bay, and how to make a fruit fly trap.  I’ve taken the liberty to condense it into a five page pdf, and downloaded the companion plant chart that came with as well. Hope you find it helpful as you do your Spring Flower and plant shopping! You can visit the website and sign up for literally hundreds of free newsletters on about any topic under the sun.

Now it’s time to go play in the dirt.

Or feel free to share your own gardening and pest control tips


Apr 122013
Dog Park Concept Plan54 Richardson Road
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Please thank Anna B. for getting me off my butt to tend to my blog. There are many things happening around Town (as always). Some days I feel like a squirrel and all the nuts are across the busy street.

But back to Anna’s inquiry…”so how’s the Dog Park Plan coming?”

After four years of looking at multiple sites all over Town, I am happy to report that at this spring’s Town Meeting, Warrant Article 23 will seek to designate a two acre area of 54 Richardson Rd. for use as a Dog Park.

Now some of you are probably sitting here going, “Are you kidding me? Isn’t that where the DPW lives? Why would I want to bring my dog THERE????” And there are others of you asking, “What the…who’s paying for THIS????” And there are probably others of you saying, “By all that’s holy, it’s about time, I’m sick of stepping in dog crap everywhere else!!!” And then there’s that last bunch of you saying “We have enough parks, why do we even need this?”. I will handle these questions, and I’ll even add answers to some other questions I haven’t listed here.

Yes, the DPW currently has their facilities at 54 Richardson Rd., but they will be leaving for their new home at 9 Alpha Rd. sometime later this year. That will open up much of this area for improvements, since right now there is a giant, huge massive pile of dirt and stuff there. The pile of dirt and stuff will be moved somewhere, and in it’s place the Chelmsford Dog Association (CDA) will partner with the Town to construct and maintain a dog park like the one pictured above.  The CDA has been and will continue to fundraise for the park, and once we find a site, we can move forward with finding grants and other funding sources to get it done.

There is a written plan available for download on the CDA website that will give more detail about what we’d like to do there. The idea of a Dog Park was initiated in 2009 by Erik Merrill, Chelmsford’s Animal Control Officer, who even back then was receiving multiple complaints from angry people about dog feces being left on public land, dogs running off leash and getting into conflicts with people, other dogs, cars and wildlife. He realized that people have no place to legally let their dogs run in Chelmsford, and if such a place was available, there would be less dogs running around these public places creating problems for everyone else. He announced a meeting for interested residents to meet and talk about this, and the Chelmsford Dog Association was born. We have applied for our 503(c) designation, which we hope to receive this year, and to date have raised close to $7,000.00 toward a dog park.

The site on Richardson Rd. will need a lot of TLC, and we’re estimating it could cost around $100,000.00 by the time we’re done. With the help of volunteers and interested residents, we will get there. We will continue to host our various events like the Spring Flea Market and Howl’ween. Walgreens is planning a Dog Rally in June which may include a walk-a-thon. We will be visible at the Town’s July 4th activities and parade., and we’ll be providing breakfast and lunch for the German Shepherd Rescue League’s Walk-n-Wag at the 4-H Fairgrounds in September. All of these events and more will help fund our work for the Dog Park.

The CDA would like to thank Town Manager Paul Cohen, former Conservation Commissioner Beth Logan, former Conservation Agent Thad Soule, current Conservation Agent Alison LeFlore, Town Engineer Scott Ludwig, and North Chelmsford Water Commissioner Bruce Harper for their assistance and patience with me for getting us where we are today. There are many others that have helped us along the way, it’s going to be a long speech on Opening Day!

Other things you can look forward to will be the next Coloring Contest for the kids, and a contest to name the park. We will also be announcing work sessions for the design, engineering, and construction of the park.

Anyone with questions is highly encouraged to ask them here or visit our Facebook page under “Chelmsford Dog Park” or “Chelmsford Dog Association”.

Our next meeting will be held at the Chelmsford Police Station Community Room, 2 Olde North Rd., on Wednesday, May 8, at 7PM. Everyone is welcome at our meetings, even the kids. Thank you for your support!

Mar 062013
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In spite of Mother Nature’s latest shenanigans, the Chelmsford Dog Association is preparing for Spring.

Richardson Road Proposed Dog ParkFirst up, is the Chelmsford Spring Town Meeting, which starts on April 29. The Spring Town Meeting Warrant is now signed by the Board of Selectmen. Article 23 will designate an area of 54 Richardson Rd to be used as a dog park. Article 29 will allow off-leash dogs in an area designated by the Town. The Chelmsford Dog Association is asking supporters for a dog park in Chelmsford to let their Town Meeting Representatives know that having a public dog park is a desired project, and to ask them to vote in favor of these two articles. Once these steps are complete, the group can finally work on building the park. They’ll be asking for lots of help then. Thanks to all of you for getting the word out.  Please feel free to ask questions-if I don’t know, I’ll find out! Thank you-on behalf of the Chelmsford Dog Association.

For May, the CDA will host their Third Annual Spring Flea Market on May 18, from 9AM-1PM at the Chelmsford Senior Center. Many Vendors are wanted to make this event a huge success. The good news is that it is very easy to be a vendor-anyone and everyone can do it. A 10×10 space can be yours for a $25.00 donation to the CDA, the proceeds of which will be used for dog park planning expenses. Non-profit groups can get a space for free. The flyer and application have been attached for convenience. You can sell whatever you’d like as long as its legal, and not hotdogs, chips or drinks because the CDA will be selling those for lunch. They will have coffee and donuts for the breakfast crowd as well.

For June, Walgreens will host their Third Annual Dog Rally. They are still working on setting a date for this one, and this year’s rally will include a walk-a-thon. All proceeds from this event will also be used for the Dog Park. More details will be available as I get them.

In July, look for the CDA’s float in the July 4th parade. They will also have a table at the Country Fair on the Common.

The German Shepherd Rescue League is working on their plans for their Annual Walk-n-Wag in September. This year’s event will be held at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Westford. This was a wonderful event last year-we had a great time.

Howl’ween will be held in October, and it’s way too soon to be thinking about that. Unless you are like CDA member Will Wagner, and already planning what Violet will wear this year. She was a sheep last year. Competition gets tougher each year, the costumes get more and more ornate, and I expect it the bar to be even higher this year.

Nov 272012
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Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to blog about anything. Thanksgiving is almost all set-all I need to buy is food and find my family and we’re good. So that makes today is the day I focus on things that are happening on the first weekend of December.


Saturday, December 1, the Animal Control Office will be hosting their Annual Rabies and Microchip Clinic with Chelmsford Animal Hospital, from 10AM-Noon. The clinic will be held at the Chelmsford Dog Pound, 2 Olde North Rd, near the North Building off Rt 4 by the Drum Hill Rotary (it’ll always be a rotary to me, sorry). For a multi-year rabies vaccination, please bring prior rabies certificate. If you re getting a microchip, you are responsible for filling out and submitting the registration forms and fees. All animals must be on a leash or in a carrier. It’s OK not to get there right right at 10AM, as I can only fit about 8-12 people and their dogs in the garage at a time, and I always feel bad making people wait in the cold. We will not have Dog Licenses available this year, those will need to be handled through the Town Clerk’s Office directly. For more information, please call the Animal Control Office at 978-256-0754.

Also on Saturday, Acton Animal Emergency Care is hosting a Pet Photo with Santa event from Noon-3PM at their location at 164 Great Rd., Acton. They can be reached at 978-263-1742. What makes this event special for me is that the proceeds will benefit the Chelmsford Dog Association in their work to establish a Dog Park for Chelmsford. Photos are being done by Bill Marshall Photography, and will cost $10.00. They accept cash, debit and credit cards. Pets and children are welcome at this event.


Sunday, December 2, from 4-6PM, is the Town’s Holiday Prelude & Tree Lighting on the Town Common. Santa arrives at 4PM, and kids and families can get their picture taken with Santa. Photos are free and will be available for download at the Chelmsford Dog Association website, after the event. The tree lighting will happen at 5PM. There will be music, goodies, free chowder, hot chocolate and popcorn. There will be horse drawn hay rides, story time at the Little Red Schoolhouse, a live nativity at 5:45, and of course, Piney the Talking Tree. (I’m a firm believer that if more trees could talk, we’d learn a lot from them.) The Chelmsford Center of the Arts will also be hosting a 1940′s era radio show-at 2PM and 7PM, tickets can be reserved for free by contacting the Chelmsford Center for the Arts.

Thank you, and I hope to see many familiar faces at any of these events! Happy Thanksgiving! Go Lions!

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