The installation of Upper Moreland’s dog park perimeter and galvanized supporting fences are nearly complete, Pat Stasio, Parks and Recreation director, said.
Speaking at the Sept. 26 Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, Stasio acknowledged the major setbacks that have impeded the opening of the dog park, which was intended for late summer or early fall.
Most recently, township crews found that the dog park area, located in Mill Creek Park, had more debris and clearing challenges than expected in the early summer. Also, the recent hurricane and tropical storm has made traversing the back area of Mill Creek Park, difficult for crews to install the two types of fences.
“We are working as quickly as we can and the Earth will permit,” Stasio said.
Currently, township crews have installed the majority of the split line fencing. Once finished, the township will hire contractors to install the galvanized support fences.
Stasio estimates in about three weeks, all fencing will be completed.
In light of the dog park’s near-completion, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Council has put together a list of dog park rules, based on information received from the Delaware Valley Insurance Trust (DVIT).
The list of 18 dog park rules, which were presented to the committee, addresses issues of safety for both people and pets, and the maintenance of the dog park itself:
- 1) The off-leash dog area is for dogs, their handlers and those accompanying them. No other use is allowed.
- 2) All dogs must be legally licensed and currently vaccinated and shall wear a visible dog license.
- 3) No dogs under 4 months of age.
- 4) No female dogs in heat.
- 5) Dogs must be on a leash when entering and exiting the off-leash dog area.
- 6) Dogs must be under control of their handler and in view of their handler at all times.
- 7) No spiked collars.
- 8) Children age 14 and under are not allowed in the off-leash dog area.
- 9) Handlers must be 16 years of age or older.
- 10) Handlers must have possession of the dog leash at all times.
- 11) Maximum of two dogs per handler.
- 12) Handlers must “scoop the poop.”
- 13) Handlers must fill all holes dug by dog(s) under their control.
- 14) No food or drinks in glass containers – training treats are allowed* [see continuing article below for more information].
- 15) Dogs must be removed from the off-leash dog area at the first sign of aggression.
- 16) No animals other than dogs shall be permitted in the area.
- 17) Handlers are responsible for any injuries caused by the dog(s) under their control.
- 18) Users of the facility do so at their own risk. The (township/borough) shall not be liable for any injury or damage caused by any dog in the off-leash area.
Committee members and public comments were made about the intended rules. Among the more discussed rules was number eight, which addresses the minimum age of dog park users.
“I know some very mature children age 14 that can handle dogs,” Ward 2 commissioner and committee chairperson Kevin Spearing said. “I have some reservations about that rule.”
In response, Stasio suggested that children under the age of 14 can not use the off-leash area without the accompaniment of an adult. He later added, during his prepatory research of dog parks, all neighboring townships with dog parks have a similar rule.
Speaking from the audience, Ward 3 commissioner Donna Parsell expressed opposing reservations on allowing any young children in the off-leash area, even with the accompaniment of an adult, saying that the DVIT may have found statistical reasoning for potential dangers to children, that prompted them to make such a recommendation.
According to Stasio, the dog park rules will not prevent the park from being insured.
Other explanations made addressed number seven, where no protruding spikes around the collar will be permitted. Discipline collars, however, will be allowed. An explanation was also needed for number 14, which would mean that no glass containers of any kind are allowed in the park, regardless if they should hold training treats.
More from the reporter’s notebook
-During the meeting’s library report, it was announced that blue-ray discs are now available at the Upper Moreland Free Public Library.