Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham sets $15,000 fundraising goal
After several years of planning, the Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham (DPAW) has set a $15,000 fundraising goal to create a safe and enclosed space in town where man's best friend can play off leash.
These funds will be used to maintain the dog park after its completion and are crucial to securing a grant from the Stanton Foundation which has previously helped to construct dog parks in neighboring communities such as Mashpee and New Bedford.
"They were happy with our application," said DPAW volunteer Jacqui Nichols. "Now we just have to prove we can maintain the park after it's built."
The dog park was approved during the 2017 Town Meeting and received $20,000 in Community Preservation Committee funds to match 10 percent of the Stanton Grant.
DPAW currently has a 99-year lease with the town for a 7-acre property off Maple Springs Road near Atlantic Boats.
Conceptual plans for the area were revealed to the public on Saturday, July 28, at an informational meeting hosted by DPAW at the Wareham Free Library.
According to Nichols, DPAW only plans to develop one of the 7 acres for the dog park. The remaining land will be saved for future expansions, which would include recreational areas such as walking trails.
The dog park itself will feature two separate fenced-in areas for large and small dogs as well as a handicap accessible parking lot and concrete pavilion.
Once completed, Nichols said the park will fall under the jurisdiction of the Wareham Department of Natural Resources with Director Garry Buckminster serving as the park's liaison.
Dog owners who enter the park will do so at their own risk and assume all responsibility according to Nichols. Additional rules and regulations on the park will be put into place by the town.
Wareham currently has 1,000 registered dogs.
"There's no legal space for them to be off leash," Nichols said. "Even in the off season our beaches are closed to them."
As a part of their continued fundraising efforts, Nichols said DPAW will be looking to sniff out some volunteers.
"We can't do it all by ourselves," Nichols said.
DPAW will have a booth at the Onset Blues Festival on Aug. 4 to collect donations and answer questions from the community.
More information on the dog park and volunteer opportunities can be found online at www.warehamdogpark.org.