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'Huge' Response For Dog Park Committee



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‘Huge’ Response For Dog Park Committee

By Kendra Bobowick

“Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful,” was Assistant Director of Recreation RoseAnn Reggiano’s reaction Wednesday morning to the prior evening’s subcommittee meeting.

Residents volunteering to join the emerging Dog Park Committee held their second meeting this week and selected a park name, pending a vote of acceptance at next week’s Parks and Recreation meeting, and elected Kaia Fahrenholz chairman and Monica Roberto secretary.

Park name selections came from a pool of 198 entries in response to a flyer circulated among school students. The committee members Tuesday settled on a name to be announced as soon as next week. The group looked at logos for the park, and ideas for a pamphlet they hope to bring to the public in early 2010 with lists of donation and fundraising ideas and a notice regarding responsible dog owner regulations. The location is slated for the end of Trades Lane near the proposed site for a new dog pound.

Enthusiasm and interest in the dog park is “huge,” she said. Tuesday afternoon Ms Reggiano had read a list of more than 20 names, and expects it will continue to grow. When she first sought participants for the dog park, she said, “I kept getting emails: ‘I want to be on it, I want to be on it.’” She was ready. “I know how much people love dogs in Newtown,” she said. The group’s size may seem unusual, but the helping hands all can promote fundraising and generate interest in the park.

In past months her Dog Days of Summer event drew more than 300 participants to Fairfield Hills, where dogs entered contests, took obedience tests, and walked the scenic grounds with their owners. She hopes also to generate a pamphlet describing rules for the park, donation ideas, and a means of raising funds for the park’s most expensive component — a fence. The fencing could cost as much as $50,000.

Safety within the park will rely on the pet owners. “People know their dogs,” she said, stressing that people need to control a dog with aggressive tendencies. “I never blame the dog,” she added.

The next meeting is scheduled for January 5, at 6:30 pm, in the new Municipal Center at Fairfield Hills.

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