Wareham dog park supporters to unleash fundraising efforts

Jul 11, 2018

After years of planning and addressing safety concerns, there appears to be one more hurdle for the Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham – money.

Affiliation members are getting their application materials ready for a grant that would bring them one step closer to creating space for man’s best friend if approved.

The group has been working to create a safe and enclosed space for Wareham’s pooches to play off leash since 2016.

“It’s a slow process,” said Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham President Josh Crabb. “We haven’t seen a lot of movement, but it’s not a forgotten project by any means.”

The future dog park was approved during the 2017 Town Meeting and the group currently has a 99-year lease with the town for a 1-acre property off Maple Springs Road.

According to Crabb, his group is now working to get the ball rolling with a grant application to the Stanton Foundation.

The Stanton Foundation has previously helped with the construction of dog parks in neighboring towns such as Bourne and Mashpee, and if approved, Wareham could see up to $225,000 of their construction costs covered.

Crabb said he’s optimistic about Wareham’s chances, though he’ll have to prove that the Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham can match 10 percent of the park’s cost before the grant can be awarded.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of public fundraising,” Crabb said.

According to Crabb, the group will be at the Wareham Swan Festival on July 14 to collect donations and answer questions.

DPAW will also host an informational session at the Wareham Free Library on July 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“We want people to bring their questions and get involved,” Crabb said. “Everyone should be up to date.”

A dog owner himself, Crabb said there are very few areas in Wareham where dogs can run freely off leash.

Many beaches are dog restricted, and public areas such as playgrounds and shopping centers aren’t exactly dog friendly either.

“There’s about a thousand registered dogs in Wareham,” Crabb said. “And I’m sure there are even more that aren’t registered. Seasonal residents bring their dogs here, too, and there’s just no safe place for them.”

Crabb hopes the dog park will serve as a gathering space for community dog owners where events like training courses can be held.

For now, though, the park is still a long way off.

“Even if the grant was approved tomorrow,” Crabb said, “It would still be another 12 to 18 months before we could open.”