Temporary ‘bare bones’ dog park in West Hartford awaits zoning approval – Hartford Courant

West Hartford – The West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s dream of establishing a permanent dog play area in the city is one step closer to reality as a 12-month temporary dog ​​park proposal awaits the green light from the West Hartford Town Planning and Zoning Commission.

If approved by the TPZ, dog owners in West Hartford could have a playpen for their four-legged friends to roam by the end of September.

At a public hearing on Sept. 7, the TPZ will vote on a request submitted by WHDPC Co-Chair David Coleman to create a fenced-in, one-acre temporary dog ​​park in the grassy area behind the old St. Brigid’s School. at 100 Mayflower Street.

Coleman hopes the dog park will remain on the site of the former St. Brigid’s School beyond the proposed one-year period or until construction begins on city property. Thereafter, Coleman said, the WHDPC wants the park to return to the location and become a permanent part of West Hartford.

“We have a big city. We have all these amenities, pools, ice rink, fields, baseball, soccer, etc., but the one thing we don’t have and badly need is a dog park,” Coleman said. “For this temporary park, we are simply looking to have a fenced area [with] one large area for large dogs, then a smaller area for smaller dogs, and that’s it. So it will be pretty stripped down – no pun intended.

(Brad Horrigan)

Coleman said WHDPC’s previous fundraising efforts would foot the nearly $8,000 bill for installing and renting the fence. He said if the park becomes permanent, WHDPC would also cover the cost of benches, water stations and other amenities.

Since 2008, the West Hartford Dog Park Coalition has advocated and raised funds for a local dog park. Over the years there have been one day events at a dog park and even a temporary 3 month park during the 2019-2020 winter at Beachland Park, but roadblocks and a lack of green space available prevented the creation of a permanent park. West Hartford Doggie Park.

Coleman said that with no park in their hometown, pet parents travel to parks in Simsbury, Granby, Enfield and Glastonbury to meet other dog lovers and give their puppies playtime and peace. much-needed socialization.

In late 2021, more than 1,300 West Hartford residents took part in a WHDPC-sponsored survey: 88% of respondents said West Hartford should have a dog park. Coleman said now is a great time to listen to the community and build a park for the city’s canine companions.

“We are really anxious and more than a little frustrated that after all these years – this has been going on for over 10 years – we still don’t have a dog park. But, we think it’s now a very good opportunity with the St. Brigid property,” Coleman said. “Even if it’s temporary [we want] to show the community that dog parks work, that they are great resources, that they are great assets, that they help create a sense of community and that this town should have it a permanent.

Alison Cross can be contacted at [email protected].

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