New dog park opens, expected to address a growing need
HALFMOON, N.Y. » The town administration Saturday officially opened its long-awaited dog park with yelps and barks from the canines and heartfelt words of thanks from their owners.
After doing its planning and design work the town fenced in three acres of Abele Park on Route 236 near the town hall center for its “Scentral Bark” park.
The land for the dog park has been divided into two sections, one- and- a-half acres for large dogs and a half acre for dogs weighing less than 30 pounds. At the June 9 opening both sections were given a workout by dogs and their owners.
Permits will be required to use the park and can be purchased for $30 at town hall. They are good for one calendar year from the date of purchase. Use of the park is open to anyone with a dog, they need not be town resident, as long as their pet has a valid rabies certificate and a dog license. A single permit covers all the dogs in a household. However, only three dogs per household are permitted to use the park at a time.
The cost to build the park on the town- owned land was $100,000.
The ribbon cutting ceremony drew the entire Halfmoon Town Board, Town Clerk Lynda Bryan, Receiver of Taxes Karen Pingelski, many town employees, As- semblywoman Mary Beth Walsh, R-Ballston Spa, Deacon, and local TV meteorologist and pet lover Steve Caporizzo of WTEN 10. Caporizzo handled the duties of master of ceremonies.
“I’ve always thought you can tell a lot about a person and a community by the way they treat their pets,” Caporizzo said. “Dog parks bring people to- gether. They bring pets together and in turn they bring families together. There will be friendships made at this dog park, friendships between dogs and friendships between people and I think that’s special. Congratulations. You folks and the community of Halfmoon should be really proud of this. It’s something
you can all share in. You hit a home run here with this.”
Scentral Bark is in full sun and though close to some woods, it is not in them and consequently shade on a sunny day is at a premium. Town Supervisor Kevin Tollisen explained that originally part of park was to be shaded by the woods but mitigating the wetlands found in them would have increased the cost drastically.
Tollisen said within his first week in office he was being approached by people in the community about getting a dog park. he thanked town Animal Control Officer Beth Abramson for being its biggest proponent.
“There were lots and lots of requests,” Abramson said. “The thinking is start-
ing to change. We’ve been good at spending money on recreation for humans for things they like to do, like basketball courts, and we should spend some funds on dogs. It’s just another thing that people like to do. ”
Abramson said paths will be plowed in the snow during the winter so the park can be used in the colder months. She admitted she is already lobbying for installing lights so peo- ple who work during the day can use the park in the evening hours.
Many dog owners in Halfmoon who came out to give their pets a run on Saturday said they have been waiting for a long time for a dog park.
“We were looking forward to this park,” said town resident Kris Thorne as Hammy, her three-yearold terrier mix, sniffed his way around the small dog section. “We kept watching it go up and waiting for the permits to go on sale.”
Thorne said she has an enclosed back yard, a gated porch, and doggie doors so Hammy can go out on his own but a park where he can be with other dogs is what she was after.
Jill Wright, the owner of Zeus and Wizard, said she was another who was waiting for the park to be completed.
“I’m only two-and-a-half miles away. This is great,” she said. “I’ve been waiting and waiting.”
The park’s name, Scentral Bark, was chosen from entries submitted by residents. Lori Millea had the winning entry and attended the opening with her dog Griffin, a five-yearold Golden Retriever.
“I was just brainstorming,” she said. “I’m glad to see it go up. We have a fenced in back yard but there’s no friends to play with.”
TV meteorologist Steve Caporizzo, center with scissors, cuts the ribbon on Halfmoon’s Scentral Bark dog park surrounded by a group of dog lovers. On his immediate right and left are Town Supervisor Kevin Tollisen and Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh.