LI-DOG Asks for Dog Owner Feedback
A proposal to build a dog park at Gardiner Park in Bay Shore would involve a joint effort between dog owners, local businesses, and the local dog owner/developer who has proposed building the dog park, LI-DOG learned at a meeting in April with Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi of Islip and the individual who has made the proposal. Currently, there is no money for dog parks in the Countyís Capital Budget and Suffolk County Legislator Tom Barraga, who represents the area around Gardiner Park, has said he only will support creating a dog park if it does not cost Suffolk County money. A private-public partnership to develop the dog park on County parkland represents a new, innovative approach that, if successful, everyone could be proud of, said Leg. Cilmi.
At the meeting, the developer, who is an Islip resident, explained that in addition to walking his dog at Gardiner, he also goes to the Blydenburgh and West Hills Dog Parks. Given how popular Gardiner is with dog owners, he believes Gardiner would be a great place for a new dog park. He has proposed putting up the bulk of the money for the project; however, additional funds from local businesses and the public would also be sought.
The dog owner/developer has proposed building a fenced dog park on the field north of the lake and just south of the main parking lot. Access to the lake by the general public would be maintained. That field is approximately one acre in size. However, the Suffolk County Parks Dept. has stated that any dog park will need to be located west of the playground on the west side of the park. The Parks Dept.ís plans call for a one acre dog park in that area, which includes a field dotted with trees.
In a subsequent meeting at Gardiner with the dog owner/developer, LI-DOG organizers discussed the merits of potential dog park sites and key considerations for any dog park. Among them:
- Adequate size
- Reasonable startup and maintenance costs
- Good ground cover
- Nearby parking
LI-DOG also believes the following two conditions need to be in place for a dog park at Gardiner Park to be successful:
- Official recognition of the off-leash beach
- Continued on-leash access to the rest of the park
Given the importance of dog owner support for this project, we would like to get feedback from dog owners about the project and the two sites under consideration. We are posting an outline of the proposal on our Yahoo chat group at http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/LIDogOwnersGroup/. Check it out and let us know what you think!