Somewhere in The Valley, there’s an ideal location for the dog park that the Mad River Valley Rotary wants to create.
Joey Daniell, Rotary president, detailed the club’s most recent efforts to find a home for the one-half-acre park the club would like to create. Daniell and others have been searching for a home for a park since earlier this spring.
The effort to find the right spot has been made more difficult by the fact that several of the potential locations are located in the flood plain where permanent structures such as a fenced dog park and a dog waste container are not appropriate.
Most recently Daniell and fellow Rotarian Karl Klein met with the Waitsfield Conservation Commission to discuss the possibility of siting the dog park on the town-owned Tardy parcel on the west side of Route 100, south of the Lareau Farm.
Daniell said that after an earlier meeting with the Warren Conservation Committee, Friends of the Mad River had mentioned the possibility of using the Tardy parcel in Waitsfield as a dog park.
“Last Monday we met with the Waitsfield Conservation Commission about the Tardy parcel, which is mostly off of the flood plain. We thought it would work, but the Waitsfield Conservation didn’t feel it was ideal because it’s still close to the river. And Friends of the Mad River was concerned about that location as well,” Daniell said.
“While the Waitsfield Conservation Commission was very supportive of the idea, we left with the Tardy parcel off the table and we’re going to explore the Munn field,” Daniell said.
The Munn field is across from Valley Animal Hospital on Route 100 south of Waitsfield Village. The town purchased the parcel in the 1990s with plans to use it for a municipal wastewater disposal field. A large scale municipal wastewater system was never developed and the town has considered using the parcel for affordable housing or recreation. Because the soils on the parcel are good for wastewater treatment, the town still considers wastewater disposal a potential future use as well.
“What we discussed is the possibility of leasing a portion of the Munn field for five years,” Daniell said.
“If we can’t make the Munn field work, we’ll have to start seeking private property owners willing to host a dog park. It was also suggested that we talk to TJ Kingsbury about land near the Mad River Rec Fields as a potential park,” he added.
The dog park effort has full support from the local Rotary club, whose members see this as a great project for The Valley.
“There is some hesitation among some club members about us taking this on in perpetuity and we’ve talked about us getting it off the ground and managing it for a few years before finding a group that wants to continue managing it. That’s how the dog park effort worked in Waterbury,” he said.
The proposed park would be about one-half acre and would be fenced and have dog waste bags as well as garbage cans for dog waste, which would be supplied and managed by Rotarians.
Asked how soon it could be a reality, Daniell said that if the right piece of property is found, the park could be open this summer. He anticipated that the total cost for the project would be $12,000 which includes $9,000 for fencing and $3,000 for dog waste stations and trash cans.