EASTHAMPTON — After several years of pushing for a dog park to be located at Nonotuck Park, the Friends of Easthampton Dog Park have received permission to consider that location. At the May 22 Easthampton Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, the commission granted the Friends support to pursue the dog park there.

“This site has always been our members’ priority for a location,” said Joan Kurtz, president of Friend of Easthampton Dog Park. “Now that we have this prospective location, we will need to hire a design engineer to create a schematic of what our dog park might look like.”

Kurtz explained that the vision for the dog park includes separate sections for large dogs and small dogs, possibly a small run for dogs who need an area to get comfortable before entering the park, agility equipment, benches and water hook-ups.

“This will obviously be costly so we will be applying for Community Preservation Act funds, as well as researching various dog park grants,” noted Kurtz.

The organization got a $2,500 boost from the Jesse’s Ride event on May 11. The event’s organizer Devon Glynn told Kurtz that they will continue to support the park with various fundraisers.

“At this juncture, we have no idea as to the overall cost of the park nor a timeline for completion,” added Kurtz. “We have some funds in our bank account but not sufficient to cover the costs of a new dog park. Now that we have a prospective location, we can start to plan major fundraising events. After we have the completed schematic with accompanying costs, we will need to talk with the commissioners.”

According to Kurtz, the Parks and Recreation Commission had been investigating an area off Ferry Street for a possible dog park. Friends of Easthampton Dog Park had many concerns about that area, including insufficient parking, contaminated soil and higher costs.

Friends of Easthampton Dog Park will be at Cultural Chaos on June 8 for anyone who’d like more information about their work. People can also follow the group on Facebook to keep updated on the progress toward a dog park.

Tina Lesniak
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