Downtown Dog Park Planned For Fall

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Dog Park View 1By Terry Rogers

The City of Milford in conjunction with Milford Parks and Recreation is in the process of putting together a plan to install a dog park near the Riverwalk at the corner of Fisher Avenue and Marshall Street. The lot was the previous location of the D&N Bus Service bus yard.

“Over the years a lot of people have asked for a dog park, and I think it is something the city can use,” said City Manager Richard Carmean. “It is close to the Riverwalk so people can walk their dogs along the river and then take them to run free at the dog park. It is also close to the entrance to Goat Island, and when it opens, we will probably allow leashed pets on the trails there.”

The Chaney-Wilmont Greenway, located between the Vinyard Shipyard and Goat Island is an area Milford is promoting as part of the ecotourism program in the city. The dog park will be located in close proximity to the walkway, which the city hopes will eventually include a visitor and nature center off of Marshall Street. A path on the perimeter of Goat Island will include benches and panels offering information on the ecosystem. Goat Island has been called a “microcosm of the Delmarva Peninsula” due to the wildlife and songbird nesting areas found there. Mr. Carmean hopes that the new dog park will not only benefit local residents, but also encourage visitors interested in ecotourism an added reason to visit the walking trails in town.

“Right now, there is a dog park in Middletown, and I believe one in Dover,” Mr. Carmean explained. “People from Milford actually drive to those dog parks to give their dogs exercise. This gives us an added attraction in the city for both residents and visitors here.”

The dog park will have two sections, one for large dogs and one for small dogs. Mr. Carmean said there is already water at the location, so it will be easy for the city to install water fountains for both humans and animals. Mr. Carmean said that signage would be in place warning visitors that the owner must be there with the dog, and that using the park was at the owner’s risk. No aggressive dogs would be allowed in the park.

“We are working on a preliminary site evaluation,” said Mary Betts, Superintendent of Milford Parks and Recreation. “We are checking the fencing and determining how much gravel we need to remove for good grass growth.” Ms. Betts said that they plan to install landscaping, so there would be shaded areas, as well as benches for people to use while their pets run. The hope is to add agility equipment in the future as more people utilize the park. Milford Parks and Recreation hopes to have the dog park up and running by Fall 2013.