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Posted August 28, 2012 | comments 18 Comments

Strasburg dog park moving forward

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

Strasburg could join the growing number of communities with dog parks.

The Town Council public safety and recreation committee heard a presentation on the park at its meeting Monday. While several members appeared to back the idea as a concept, they advised supporters that council may need more information on the proposal to push it forward. The recently formed nonprofit Strasburg Dog Owners Group has its eyes on open space in the town's park. The space could contain two separate, enclosed areas - a 9,100-square-foot section for small dogs and a 23,500-square-foot section for larger canines.

"Dogs need to be socialized with each other and with other people, and dogs really benefit from getting out and being able to run at large, not always being stuck on the end of a 6-foot leash," said Strasburg veterinarian N. Lee Newman. "Because of these needs and because we're no longer a farm-type community where dogs can run at large through town, a dog park that's dedicated to a space where it is safe for dogs to play off-leash and for them to interact with other dogs, for other owners to get together, a dog park is the way to go."

The association already has begun its fundraising efforts and plan to hold a Doggie Dive-in at the Strasburg Town Pool from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 8.

But the group likely could see a better response to its fundraising if members could tell potential supporters where they intend to build the park, according to Newman and others.

Newman gave the presentation to the committee for the organization whose members expressed a desire to raise the money needed to build the park. However, as Newman explained, the group would likely need the town to provide maintenance and upkeep on the facility. Strasburg officials told the council members the town already mows the space eyed for the park.

Councilman Richard Redmon, who uses a service dog because he is blind, said he supports the idea of the dog park. Councilman Scott Terndrup, in the audience at the meeting along with several members of the dog group, echoed Redmon's support.

Councilman Robert Baker told Newman that the group should further solidify its proposal before bringing it to the full council. Questions were raised about which entity -- the town or the dog owners group -- would maintain the park; who makes sure owners pick up the waste of their animals and what happens if a person is hurt on the property. Newman said dog owners keep an eye on each other and most know the common courtesy of picking up after their pets. Town Zoning Administrator Laura O'Dell explained that Strasburg's insurance covers liability on park properties.

Newman and the group have watched the efforts of a similar organization in Warren County and Front Royal to establish a dog park. The Strasburg group even sought the help of Kelly Walker, the person who spearheaded the years-long endeavor in Warren County. That dog park officially opened to the public Tuesday. Winchester opened its facility in Jim Barnett Park several years ago.

18 Comments | Leave a comment

    I think the town should think about the kids first. It is only a matter of time one of the skateboarders on the roads in downtown is going to be hit by a automobile. I saw the police order them off the road and when he left they came right back. What is needed is a skateboard park so they won't have an excuse to be on the roads.

    Are the skateboarders going to fundraise to build a park for themselves? Because the dog owners are.

    I will compromise Snarks. How about a campaign for both?

    I've already offered my assistance to the Strasburg DOG. I'll help the skateboarders if they wear helmets. I won't take part in any middle school head traumas.

    Skateboarders on the road.... No kidding! Never seen a single one wear a helmet either. Disobey the police..... No kidding! There is a huge difference in a dog park and a skateboard park. It is simply a designated, confined area for dogs. People take pets to the park every day. They are still responsible for their pets actions. If you want your kid to go to a skateboard park, perhaps you should request the owners of the roller rink to add that on to their facility. That kind of liability should not fall on tax payers what so ever. Ever look at the statistics of skateboarders in ER? There is already a VERY nice playground, swimming pool, tennis court, basketball court, and huge field to play in and a river bank to fish off of. Let's not forget the library. What next? A luge course down Hupps Hill? Here's an idea... How about spending time with your kids, teach them some morals, and make sure they don't become part of the drinking and drug problem that has gotten way out of control with teens. You chose to be a parent, so be one. Stop expecting everyone else to provide ways to attempt to keep your kids out of trouble, off the streets, give them something to do while you are off doing your own thing!

    Didn't mean to get you bent out of shape Seriously. I didn't realise this would become a big can of worms either. Furthermore, I take offence to your reference to kids that you assume are mine. I have no kids, thank you very much. I thought it would be a good idea to get the knuckleheads off the roads before they get run over by a car. However, if it is going to make this big of a stink....forget it.

    p.s. Don't see anything wrong with a dog park....good luck.

    I did not mean to offend you personally as I have issues with swerving around skateboarders myself. It was just that comment about the skateboard park keeps coming up and over the past several years there has been a group fighting for a skateboard park in the town meetings. This town has the 3rd highest water rate in the state of VA. We are millions of dollars in debt. Problem with the kids in the streets is the parents responsibility. Change has to start at home. You could build a Disney World on the edge of town and it won't change a thing.

    Seriously, I agree with you completely that the citizens are over taxed, fee, and mandated to death in this town already. So I guess we do have to pick our priorities. It was just an idea anyway, for what it is worth.

    I'll erect a few wooden ramps for them skate borders that will skyrocket them over the shenandoah river below the wastewater plant...if the wish to chance it. Until my homemade ramps go up, i guess they can go over to FR to check out there park. But then Sburg will have to have a shuttlebus.

    ok we can have wooden ramps over the shenandoah river and all those other nice things with dog park......and yet no popeyes....

    I know a person that has an empty inground pool. If you can keep the water out after rains. I here they are good skateboarding places.

    The problem isn't the dog park, it's where they want to put it. Those of us who like to play tennis do not want barking, smelly, running dogs surrounding us as we play (and the courts are surrounded; I went and looked at it yesterday when playing). The plan as it is will not look good. I hope they find another place to put it...down by the soccer fields would be good or behind the town shop, just over the little bridge on the walking trail would be good. The dog park is too close to the courts. I'm in no way opposed to a dog park, just the location.

    we can put tennis player poop, dog poop, and pigeon poop on the same field, so that Great fertilization can happen. Just try to keep a buffer zone of vegation along streams and rivers.

    maybe a slip and slide for the tennis players, then for the dogs.

    Don't think the people need to pay for design and contstruction of a skate park for skateboarders now but I will ask is that if the dog park happens, please have a doggy costume day at Haloween.

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