Every dog park has its day: Construction begins at last
After months of delays, the much-anticipated Wareham Dog Park is no longer all bark and no bite.
Construction on the dog park, located off Maple Springs Road and overseen by the town Department of Natural Resources, began this week with the laying of concrete.
“I am so beyond excited this project is underway,” said Corey Blanchard, President of the Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham. “It has been a long road with many bumps, but we are so appreciative to have the town and Wareham residents’ support and assistance every step of the way.”
The $286,000 park was originally scheduled to open this fall, but opening day is now scheduled for next spring. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 23. It will include areas for large and small dogs, benches, trees to provide shade, a parking lot and water fountains.
Blanchard said that the increased cost of materials and construction were responsible for the recent delays.
The Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham was founded by local dog owners in 2016. The town voted to allow construction of the park in 2017. In 2020, the park had the necessary permits and the money from fundraising, grants and taxpayer money from the Community Preservation Committee, used to fund outdoor and recreational activities. Then came the pandemic.
“It kind of fell off the radar [because of the] wild time we were in,” said Director of Natural Resources Garry Buckminster.
When it came time to open the project to bids from contractors, Buckminster was “taken aback” by their prices. Every option was over budget, so the Affiliation had to adjust the scope of the project and continue fundraising. The town ultimately decided to take over construction, with Buckminster coordinating with the Stanton Foundation for grant money.
Buckminster has faith that the dog park will get town tails wagging.
“It gives a lot of options for people who don’t have the ability to have their dogs run around in their backyards,” he said.