by Terry Rogers
On Friday, July 24, the Milford Dog Park opened after being closed for several months due to the State of Emergency due to COVID-19. Brad Dennehy, Director of Parks and Recreation, explained that the park was required to be closed per Governor John Carney’s Phase 2 guidelines which did not allow playgrounds, dog parks and public restrooms to remain closed. Many Milford residents, like Susan and Ron Berwick, are pleased that the park is now open.
“I sincerely mean it when I say that Parks and Recreation has done an outstanding job in the renovations and upkeep of the Milford Dog Park,” Susan Berwick said. “Many people depend on that park as a part of their emotional stability as well. It’s not just for our dogs, it’s about the people.”
Berwick explained that social distancing at the park would not be difficult, pointing out that she walks along the Riverwalk and people have no trouble remaining apart. She has also walked her dog in state parks where others have easily social distanced.
“One of the reasons we had to remain closed was that the Governor’s guidelines require a frequency of cleaning and disinfecting that present staff simply cannot meet,” Dennehy said. “There have been weekly briefings from the Governor’s office and as soon as we received guidance from the state that our facilities no longer posed a threat, we opened them up.”
“We have a beautiful 105-pound husky that must remain on a leash or in an enclosed area,” Berwick said. “She’s what we call a runner which is typical of the breed. I would visit the dog park at least three or four times a week. That way she could have a little sense of freedom. Sasha’s dog friends were at the park and her friends’ owners became friends of mine. People come with their pets, each with their own story. Many owners are seniors and can’t keep up with their dogs. They needed the park to run safely. And there are those who work often that have time constraints. You would be surprised at the people that have runner dogs like mine. And some people just like the beautiful setting of the park and come for a change of scenery with their dogs.”
The City is asking anyone who visits the Dog Park to social distance in order to protect others who are there with their dogs. Dennehy also stated that a third section of the Dog Park will be open soon with additional recreational options for dogs in the Milford area.