By Terry Rogers
The Milford Dog Park, located near the Riverwalk at the corner of Fisher Avenue and Marshall Street, is in the final stages of preparation according to City officials. The park will be two parks in one with one section for small dogs and another for large dogs, according to Gary Emory, Director of Milford Parks and Recreation.
“There are water fountains installed for both dogs and people,” said Mr. Emory. “There are shelters and shade trees with benches so people can sit while their dogs run. It is a lovely setting close to the Riverwalk so people can walk their dogs on leashes through the parks and the Riverwalk then let them run in the dog park.”
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 of Milford. 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. With the opening of Goat Island which includes benches and panels offering information on the ecosystem, Mr. Emory says that the addition of the 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.
Mr. Emory explained that rather than seed the ground, which would take too long for grass to grow in the park, the City decided to expend additional funds and install sod. City Manager Richard Carmean says that sod should be installed by mid-October.
“The sod needs to be watered well in order for it to take root and we don’t want people walking on it until it is established,” Mr. Carmean said. “I am very pleased with the design and I am very happy with the location of the park. I have had many people ask for something like this in the town and I think it will be a huge benefit. I am glad that I will see it come to fruition before I retire.”
Mr. Carmean said that when City Council first approved the project, he got many positive responses about the park, indicating that it was apparent this was something the city needed. He said that there would be rules posted at the entrance to the park as well.
“They will be pretty standards rules,” Mr. Carmean said. “Things like the owner is responsible for the actions of their dog and no aggressive dogs are permitted. There will be a weight limit for each section of the park to differentiate between what is a large and what is a small dog.” Mr. Carmean said that all owners will be responsible for cleaning up after their dog.
There will be receptacles available to dispose of dog waste and Mr. Carmean said he is hoping to talk to some of the pet-related businesses in town about placing bag receptacles in the park for the convenience of those who use the park.
“I am very proud of this park,” said Gary Emory. “There is parking available at the park for those who prefer driving in rather than walking through the Riverwalk. Those who want to drive should access the park by Marshall Street.” It is anticipated that the park will be open to the public by the first of November.