Last week, the township completed constructing 620-feet of galvanized steel fencing for its new dog park. No sooner than when the gates opened, some resident dog owners jumped at the opportunity to utilize the dog park, according to a nearby resident.
However, dog owners wanting to take advantage of today’s beautiful, but unseasonably warm weather, found the dog park locked with a temporary sign attached to the gates:
“The Off-Leash Dog Park will open in mid Spring. For safety reasons, the park is closed until that time.”
While dog owners are still welcomed to walk their dogs on a leash in the dog park area of Mill Creek Park, the dog park itself has just a few more amenities before completion and full public access.
“We’ve made substantial progress on the dog park,” Pat Stasio, the township’s Parks and Recreation director, said.
Speaking at the Jan. 30 Parks and Recreation committee meeting, Stasio explained that along with the galvanized fencing, the 530-feet of split-rail fencing, along the Turnpike side of the dog park, are also complete.
Both fencing stands at 5-feet tall, and will help designate off-leash areas for big and smaller dogs.
According to Stasio, the remaining dog park amenities are as follows:
- Dog park signage
- Adding top soil and grass seed (about six weeks to grow)
- Other Landscaping improvements
- Crushed Limestone
“We fully expect that this will be up and running as soon as the grass will grow,” Stasio said. “It will be open by spring.”
He added that a formal opening will take place by Memorial Day this year.
At the meeting, Stasio said he would like to invite members of the Paw Prints DOG (Dog Owners Group), the civic organization that first brought the idea of having a local dog park to the township in 2003.
“They did a lot of leg work years ago for this project,” Stasio said. “We are moving forward.”
Despite the dog park’s near completion, according to Ward 2 commissioner Kevin Spearing, who also chairs the committee, some residents have complained that the silver-colored galvanized fencing is unattractive, as seen from Mill Road. However, Stasio responded that as landscaping is completed and foliage returns, the dog park will be mostly hidden from sight.
Another concern was brought up during public comments, as Ward 6 resident Susan Worth-Lamana asked about keeping the dog park clean. Spearing said that those using the park, namely the dog owners, will make sure their new dog park is pristinely kept.
“I’m hoping that will occur and they really pay attention, because I think it’s a phenomenal addition, in my opinion,” Worth-Lamana said, adding that her own dog would have been excited to enter the new park. “My Toby’s long gone, but wherever he is, I’m sure he’s pretty happy about it.”
Back at the Mill Creek Dog Park today, other dog owners share the sentiment.
“I’m glad the township is finally doing something for dog lovers,” Betty Korson, a Mill Road resident, said.
Korson lives within walking distance from the dog park. Accompanying Korson was her 7-year-old Corgi named Rudy.
While Korson was surprised to find the gates locked, she said walking along the perimeter was better than having to drive the distance to a Horsham Township dog park.
When asked about the tentative mid-spring opening, both Korson and Rudy seemed content.
“We can’t wait,” she said with a grin.