By Julie McCay Turner
The ad hoc Dog Park Task Force considered two remaining sites for a potential dog park at their meeting on Thursday, April 26: the VA garages on Springs Road, and a newly-defined parcel on land already designated for recreation along the road into Springs Brook Park.
The Springs Road property presents some difficulties since the VA garages may be demolished and rebuilt several years hence, and abutters live within close proximity.
A new option, Springs Brook Park ‘Site A, Alternate’ was only recently defined and is very different from the Site A presented at the most recent task force meeting. The original Site A was nearer the pond and the parking lot. Click this link to view a scalable PDFmap of ‘Site A, Alternate’
As recently configured by the DPW, ‘Site A, Alternate’ is at the edge of the park closest to Springs Road, and near the VA golf course. The half-acre site is 565 feet from the pond, 540 feet from the park gate, 84 feet from the golf course, and some 340 feet from the nearest abutter on Kingsley Terrace.
After walking the site with Recreation Director Amy Hamilton, task force chair Dan Hurwitz found that the plot contains more scrub brush and fewer large trees than he expected to see.
According to the DPW’s Kristen Dowdy, bringing water to the site could cost approximately $36,000, by going outside the road into Springs Brook Park to avoid disturbing pavement on the road into Springs Brook Park. Selectman Caroline Fedele reported that the Community Preservation budget voted at Annual Town Meeting in 2014 appropriated $72,000 for repaving the road, and those funds remain unspent.
The task force agreed that the park would be ‘dawn to dusk’ to eliminate the expense of lighting. Recreation Director Amy Hamilton voiced concerns about security. Even now without an adjacent dog park, individuals ‘visit’ Springs Brook park when it is closed. She recommends that particular attention be paid to park security, perhaps with a separate locked gate for Springs Brook Park.
Both the VA garage and ‘Site A, Alternate’ at Springs Brook Park will be recommended to the Selectmen at their May 29 meeting. The task force will meet again on Wednesday, May 16 to refine the presentation that a task force subcommittee will draft for review.
Selectman Fedele reminded the small crowd that even after these sites are presented to the Selectmen, there will be ample time for community input.
Editor’s Note: The original version of this story located the new parcel as being near the Rotary 911 memorial; it is along the road into Springs Brook Park, but not near the Memorial.