A Dog’s Eye View: The Perfect Dog Park

After seeing all the great enthusiastic responses to the “What’s Your Dog’s Name?” poll, and after spending weeks poring over web articles about designing and defending Dog Parks in general, it occurred to me there is a very dedicated dog audience on Patch, that stretches across many towns!

The Chelmsford Dog Association folks have been working on getting a Dog Park for Chelmsford for over two years now. So where’s the Dog Park in Chelmsford? Believe it or not, we’re narrowing in on it.

The Town in general has been doing a lot of work getting its house in order through the 2010 Master Plan, the 2010 Open Space and Recreation Plan, and now the Historical and Cultural Resources Plan which is currently under way. During these processes, pieces of land all over Town were looked at, and ideas were sought on how to best use these areas for public benefit.

A lot of great projects have come out of these plans, such as the Community gardens and the Pond St. beach. Varney Park and several Conservation areas are also actively being monitored and updated. Local youth athletic groups for many kinds of sports actively maintain the fields they use. A lot of great things have been able to occur because of partnerships between the Town, multiple volunteer groups and entire neighborhoods pulling together to make good things happen. Town officals have been supportive of a dog park proposal, if an appropriate location can be used.

Since becoming involved with this project, I’ve learned a lot about why certain areas are just vacant wooded lots. I’ve learned a lot about wetland characteristics. I’ve learned a lot about people and politics and patience. I’ve learned a lot about how cities and towns across the nation have found the “best and most suitable” location for a dog park, and what some folks think is an absolutely horrible location for a park of this nature actually ends up working very well.

The CDA is currently looking at Dog Park proposals at Roberts Field and the DPW site on Richardson Rd. We’re watching the Oak Hill process, just in case. The list of other areas we’ve looked at is long, and anyone who’d like more information on why some sites were not deemed appropriate, can send me a message at cda@chelmsforddogassociation.org.

I’d like to hear from people that have used dog parks-what you liked, what could have been done better, and how you’ve worked through situations with less-than well-behaved dogs or their owners. I’d also like to hear from people who have lived near a dog park. You may blog about it here, or send me a message.

The CDA’s next meeting will be held on January 31, 2012, at 7PM, at the Chelmsford Police Station Community Room. We’ll be talking a lot about Robert’s Field. Everyone is welcome, and thank you for the input!

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