New dog park opens, ex­pected to ad­dress a grow­ing need

The Record (Troy, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Glenn Grif­fith ggrif­fith@dig­i­tal­first­media.com @CNWeekly on Twit­ter

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.”

GLENN GRIF­FITH -- GGRIF­FITH@DIG­I­TAL­FIRST­MEDIA.COM

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.

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