Who We Are: We are a volunteer group of Newtown resident dog lovers who joined forces in 2009 in order to establish an official off-leash dog park here in Newtown. The town has provided us with a parcel of land and we have raised over $31,000 through the donations of our loyal and enthusiastic supporters, as well as through our major annual fundraising events, Strutt Your Mutt and Howl-O-Ween.
In 2012, our efforts were further boosted by the extremely generous bequests of two late Newtown residents, Frances Hair and Hazel Bouchard. As part of their $2 million legacy to benefit the animals of Newtown, Park and Bark was awarded $171,368 for costs associated with completing the dog park. In addition, the familiy of Olivia Rose Engel has generously directed funds in memory of their beautiful daughter to the dog park fund. Olivia was one of 26 innocent victims of the December 14, 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Our slightly-larger-than-two-acre land parcel is at 21 Old Farm Road, off Wasserman Way, adjacent to the new Brian J. Silverlieb Animal Care and Control Center and across the road from the Governor’s Horse Guard.
Features in the park include two fenced play areas—a large general play space and a smaller separate section for smaller, older and more timid dogs
Availability of drinking water seasonally, shade structures and trees, and benches will provide a safe and comfortable environment for human and canine park visitors.
Where We Stand: Park construction started in 2013 involving land clearing, leveling, and seeding, installation of fencing, the various park structures and a parking area. Our Grand Opening was May 3, 2014.
Location: Our site is a two-acre field at 21 Old Farm Rd, off Wasserman Way, adjacent to the animal shelter, across the street from the existing Governor’s Horse Guard (see map). Further enhancements such as tree plantings, reseeding and electrical connections are planned.
Park Maintenance: Newtown Parks & Recreation continues to perform lawn maintenance and weekly trash removal. Park & Bark volunteers refill bag dispensers, post updates to bulletin boards, and assist with fundraising for new projects or maintenance, as needed. Dog owners will be responsible for cleaning up after their dogs and filling in any holes dug by their dog (biodegradable “mutt mitts” are provided onsite).
Why does Newtown need a Dog Park? There are currently over 1,850 dogs registered in Newtown. Today, dogs are prohibited from entering town parks, and must be leashed on all public property. Official dog parks offer residents an opportunity to exercise and socialize their dogs in a safe and secure park setting, while getting to know other dog lovers in town. Over 40 Connecticut towns now have dog parks. Some towns have found them so popular, that they are adding a second and third!
Contact us:RoseAnn Reggiano