North Hempstead budgets $250K for possible dog park

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The Town of North Hempstead plans to create a park where dogs like this one, standing outside Steppingstone Park, can play with their fellow canines. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Town officials have allocated $250,000 in their 2018 capital plan for a dog park, although it is unclear when and where North Hempstead will set it up.

Parks Commissioner Jill Weber said she hopes to get the ball rolling – for the project and the dogs – as soon as possible.

“We really want to advance this project forward as quickly as possible, but there are things that need to be done,” Weber said.

Carole Trottere, a spokeswoman for the Town of North Hempstead, said the dog park builds on Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth’s efforts to make the town more appealing for some four-legged residents and their owners.

The town now allows dogs in Michael J. Tully, Mary J. Davies and North Hempstead Beach parks if they are on a leash, for example, and also provides clean-up bags.

“She wants to make things more dog-friendly,” Trottere said.

What makes this park different, Weber said, is that it would allow dogs to be off their leashes, exercise and play together in a big space. It could also serve as a place for their owners to meet new people.

“Dog parks are also a very good place for humans to recreate and get to know each other,” Weber said.

Weber said that while a location is not settled, Michael J. Tully Park is one of the more likely places. There are two or three locations in the park being considered, she said, in sections that are underutilized.

“There’s a couple of different possibilities… We’re looking for people to weigh in, so we’re not set yet,” Weber said.

Weber also noted that residents have expressed interest in gates, shade, water for humans and dogs, as well as separate areas for small and large dogs.

The town is also considering synthetic turf, she added, but nothing is final.

The Shelter Connection, a Port Washington-based volunteer organization at the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter, has also donated “agility equipment” for the dogs, Weber added.

Weber encourages anyone interested in contributing to the planning and programming of the park to email dogpark@northhempsteadny.gov.

“We would love to have a group of people that will help advocate for dogs in this park,” Weber said.

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