The park is currently: CLOSED 

Dog Days of Summer? Not Yet, Spring Work Still to be Done!

Summer’s not here yet, but it’s fast approaching.

We got some big stuff done during the Spring Work Party, but there is still a bunch that didn’t get done. You might notice that some things got removed from the spring to-do list (YAY!) but alot remains to be done — and we need YOUR help!!

  • Work that can be done by anyone, any time:
    1. Recovery from the winter damage to the parking lot.
      We appreciate the plowing done by our volunteer(s). However, because our lot is not actually paved, plowing does disrupt the surface. We need volunteers to help re-spread the RAP from the spots that the plow moved it – and to fill in the potholes with the extra RAP from our stockpile over next to the dumpster enclosure.
    2. Move the parking blocks.
      We move the parking stop-blocks out of the way so that the plow can sweep across the lot. In the spring, we’ll need to move them back in front of spots. With the fading lines in the lot, the blocks are the best way to mark a spot (and to keep a clear walk-way between the parking and the fence).
    3. Fill in the entrance inside each gate.
      It’s a never-ending task. As the RAP migrates due to traffic and weather, we need to add more inside each entrance to bring it up to the same level as the brick entrance-way. This, also, will come from the RAP stockpile.
    4. Move the mulch around…
      Over the winter, mulch has migrated back onto the pathway and away from the top of the hill. We need to move it back onto the slope and around the fence. There is still a fair amount in the “extra” pile, so we should not need to have any more delivered, this year.
    5. Fill in holes.
      Dogs love to dig. We know it. We expect it. We don’t mind it in the park. However, if owners and other helpful folks could fill in the holes with the extra dirt (piled to the side of the shed), it would be really helpful.
    6. Put plants in the planters and move them back around the park…
      Although we replaced the planter barrels which were falling apart, the planters are all bare dirt now. We’d love to see some donations of dog-safe plants and have some help putting the planters back in various locations around the park (near the various gates is a good set of locations).
    7. Pick up poop.
      Yeah. As always – many thanks to the Poop Fairies who pick up after others. We appreciate you! If more people can grab an extra bag and pick up one (or more) of the poops that have been left behind by less conscientious park goers, we’ll keep the park clean and safe for all our dogs.
  • Work that needs some organization because it requires more than one person or requires the pre-purchase of things:
    1. Re-do the grass in sections.
      Unfortunately, the warm winter did not favor our park grass. The constant mud  un-did much of the grass work from last year. HOWEVER! we have a better plan for this year. We purchased some gridding (it’s on the CDA Amazon wishlist). We now need to rototil, install the gridding, reseed and re-fence sections at a time in the heavy use area at the front of the park. We had hoped to get this done at the Spring Work Party, but we didn’t have enough volunteers to do everything, so we focused on the maximum number of tasks that could be done with the people we had. The grassing, however, is at the top of our priority list to get done before the heat of summer!
    2. Clean up of the front.
      We have some feelers out to the local garden clubs to improve the look of the very front area (where the Chelmsford Dog Park sign is). However, if we want them to put in some nice plantings, some of us have to prep that area by digging up the weeds that grow there now.  So far, we’ve just been trimming the weeds as they grow, but actually digging out the root systems will nip that in the bud (pun intended).
    3. Tick Spray.
      When the park was built, a tick barrier was added just outside the fence, plus ticks only get get into an area if carried. However, as the barrier has been overgrown outside the fence, we need to refresh the protection. We have a natural tick spray (safe for dogs) which attaches to a hose and needs to be sprayed along the outer fencing.
    4. Stumps in the training area.
      This has been on the list of things to do, pretty much from the first work party. It is, however, always at the bottom of the list and rated as less important than the other things, so it hasn’t gotten done.  We need to trim down the remaining stumps in the training area.
    5. Additional poop-bag dispensers and trash cans
      We plan to add at least one more post with a dispenser and can in each area. Once they are purchased, we’ll need some help to put them up. (The dispensers are currently on back order, so we’re waiting for the notification when they come back in stock.)
    6. Fix the Agility equipment.
      The scout made us some nice equipment. Unfortunately, cold weather and misuse (the equipment is for dogs, not for humans, please) caused some damage to several pieces. We need to fix those with some sand, PVC and resin so that the dogs can start using them again!
    7. Paint the fencing at the pavilion
      We added some fencing to prevent the dogs from running into the pavilion poles. This year, we need to prime and paint it. (Brown like the sheds or Blue like the pavilion roof are the two prevailing thoughts.)
    8. Raising money for a drainage project!
      We have a quote from someone who will install drains into the three worst puddle areas in the park, along with a drainpipe into the holding-basing across the parking lot.
      To do this, we are looking for donations targeted to this effort.  Normal donations are still welcome and needed, but you’ll see some specific fundraising going around to raise money for this specific enhancement.
  • Ongoing volunteers needed!
    1. Mowing and trimming!
      We need some volunteers to commit to helping us mow and trim. We have a rider mower, 2 push mowers and a weed whacker to get the job done. As demonstrated last year, it’s too big a job for just 2 of us. If we can get others to help out, even just one day a month (4 people, each committing to one task, one day a month means a mow/trim every other week with no one person asked to do everything and if we can get commitments from more, that means less work for each individual while keeping the park looking spiffy!)
    2. Tune up the park equipment…
      Anyone with experience tuning up small engines? We have a riding mower, 2 push mowers and a gas-powered trimmer. We need your help in getting them tuned up for spring and summer use!!!
  • Special things:
    1. More permanent benches.
      The plastic chairs took a beating last year. They also get misused as “obstacles” in vain attempts to prevent dogs from enjoying the mud. We’d like to put 4 more permanent benches in on the All-Dog Area, 2 more on the Small-Dog Area and 2 into the Training Area. At close to $1000 per bench (including shipping) we don’t see many people donating them directly. So, we’d like to kick off a Bench-Raiser with money collected going specifically toward the order, shipping and installation of more permanent benches.
    2. Install the memorial bricks.
      OK, so this one is not something that our volunteers will do. We need a professional stone mason to install the round 2 bricks. If anyone knows a stone mason, have them contact the CDA – we’ll be taking bids for spring work!
  • EVENTS:
    1. Anniversary BBQ
      in June, we’re having a BBQ to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the CDA and the 3rd anniversary of the park opening!
    2. Seminars/Discussions
      The CDA is hosting am educational discussion series. Our first event, “Recognizing Dog Behavior” was really well received in April. In May, we have “Service, Support and Therapy Dogs” discussion and in June, we host “Caring for Your Senior Pet”.
    3. The park will be CLOSED for maintenance work on June 6th and 7th.

As you can see, we have an EXTENSIVE list of things to get done and. as usual, we’ll continue to hold the work parties. However, as evidenced by what we were able to get done during the last work party, this list is more than can be accomplished during a single work party, even if we had 50 volunteers.

So, we’re hoping that we can get people to chip in here and there – maybe even setting up your own “work group” to get one of the things done without an “official” work-party day.

Finally — the physical items on this list mostly depletes our initial sponsorship/wishlist. Although we continue to maintain the Amazon Wishlist, if you have ideas for larger things to improve or enhance the park, which might be sponsored by an individual, group or company, let us know!

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