The vision for Newtown's dog park was brought to life this week.
John Moore, the town's Parks Operations Supervisor, walked through the final details of the dog park during a tour of the future site. He was joined by the Committee of the Friends of Newtown Dog Park — a major force in creating the park — and officials from Park and Recreation.
In its current state, the sloped property is just shy of 2 acres and rises to a steep ridge of dirt that was left over from the high school addition. “That will all be leveled out,” Moore said, explaining that there will still be a slope, but just not as steep.
The plan that Moore presented is to grade the ridge first, which he said will take six to eight weeks. Once that is done, heavy duty, four to five-foot-tall chain link fencing will be installed. And lastly, grass will be planted, which Moore said needs two seasons to grow before the park can be opened.
The grass will be mowed regularly because, as Moore said, “If the grass is maintained, ticks will not be a problem.”
Roseann Reggiano, Associate Director of Newtown Park and Recreation, said the interior of the park may be divided so use is not too intense in any one area.
When all is said and done, the estimated opening of the park will be mid-to-late fall of 2013. Park and Recreation Director Amy Mangold said the park will not be maintained for winter use, but it will still be open during those months.
The Newtown Dog Park is well funded through the efforts of the Committee, which raised $30,000, plus another $25,000 that was contributed by Park and Recreation, and a bequest by Newtown residents Francis Hair and Hazel Bouchard of more than $171,000.
“The check has been written, and we are ready to go,” Reggiano exclaimed happily.
According to Moore, the dog park will also include:
- Unpaved parking (for conservation purposes) for 22 cars, with two paved spaces designated for handicapped.
- Parking will be by the existing blue barn at the new Animal Shelter, with the entrance to the park from that area.
- There will be lighting, although technically the park will be closed after dark.
Reggiano said she is looking at various agility activities for the dogs, as well as a splash pad and wash station. She said one of the agility activities could include a fiberglass tunnel.