Town of Oyster Bay Opens First Dog Park in Massapequa
PHOTO CREDIT: Pam Robinson
Dozens of dog owners and their dogs surged through the big double gates of the newly built Massapequa Dog Park on Sunday, June 3rd to celebrate the grand opening of the Town of Oyster Bay’s first dog park. The 50,000-square-foot dog park, which is located on Clocks Blvd., off Louden Avenue in Massapequa, features large and small dog areas, water fountains, trees, shade structures and benches for dog owners and their dogs.
At the opening ceremony, Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto talked about the joint effort between the Town and local dog owners in making the dog park a reality. “This is not about the Town of Oyster Bay unilaterally making a decision, but about local citizens joining together, asking local government to do something and the government responding,” he said. “We are glad to do this for the residents of Oyster Bay—both two-legged and four-legged,” he said.
Peggy Hickey-Heijmen, LI-DOG Board Member and organizer of the group’s Oyster Bay campaign, noted that LI-DOG worked over several years to bring the need for off-leash space to the Town’s attention. “Supervisor Venditto heard us and heard you,” she said, “and set this task for his staff. The Town’s Public Works and Parks Departments have done a tremendous job creating this dog park and we are thrilled with the results.”
Happy dog owners and their dogs celebrate the grand opening
The dog park is the result of a campaign that started in early 2008 when the Town sent out a letter asking residents for ideas on how to improve park and recreational facilities in the Town. Dozens of dog owners responded by asking the town to create off-leash areas. Then, in the spring 2010, LI-DOG gathered approximately 300 signatures on petitions asking for off-leash areas in the town. The petitions were submitted at the June 2010 Town Board meeting at which Supervisor Venditto committed to creating a dog park for Oyster Bay residents. Finally, in October 2011, the Supervisor told LI-DOG organizers that a good site for a dog park had been found in Massapequa and that work would start as soon as the plans were drawn up and the weather was favorable. The Town’s Public Works and Parks Dept. staff started construction in March 2012 and the dog park was ready by May.
At the Grand Opening, Peggy underscored the importance of dog owner involvement in helping make sure the new dog park is successful. Among the key guidelines are:
What You Can Do: It’s important that elected officials know how much dog owners appreciate their efforts to serve our needs. Let Supervisor John Venditto and the Town Board know what the new dog park in Massapequa means to you by calling 516/624-6350 or going to the Oyster Bay website at http://www.oysterbaytown.com/ and clicking on Contact Us on the right side of the homepage. It’ll only take a minute but will have a BIG impact on our ability to get MORE off-leash areas!
In addition, self-governance of the dog park by dog owners is key. If you want to help make sure the Massapequa Dog Park is a good experience for everyone, download the flyer, “Help Make the Massapequa Dog Park Safe and Successful,” which lists key rules and guidelines for the dog park. Let LI-DOG know if you need help finding people to distribute the flyer.
In addition, check out the new Massapequa Dog Park Facebook Group. It’s a great way to find out who’s going and what’s going on at the dog park!
As always, keep in touch by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.