The group “Digs for Dogs” is still on the hunt for a location for a dog park. The group started as an initiative of Angie Fredericks and Elizabeth Brown. There are no official off-leash dog areas in Queens County so the two decided to try to get one started. Brown and Fredericks believed it would provide a healthy way for dogs and owners to get exercise and socialize.
© Nick Moase Photo
There were dogs of all shapes and sizes at the first meeting of Digs for Dogs on March 20. Many dogs and their owners came out to let their pets have a little fun, and discuss the idea of having a permanent leash free dog park in Liverpool.
So far they have only been able to secure places to have play dates for dogs, which is not the end goal for the group.
“The problem there is you get 30 or 40 dogs. That’s not normally how a dog park works,” says Brown. “A dog would normally come to a park and encounter three or four dogs and being thrown into a field with a bunch of dogs is not a normal thing.”
The two would prefer to see a more casual setting where people can take their dogs for walks at their convenience.
Fredericks and Brown have looked at many parks and vacant areas but one of the roadblocks that keeps coming up is insurance. Many of the parks cannot provide insurance for a dog park.
One of the simplest ways to create a park would to have the municipality create one the two say. Digs for dogs has been receiving advice from the Region of Queens through Recreation director Norm Amirault.
“Norm Amirault has been very helpful,” says Fredericks.
Many of the members of the group feel that the park would be good for the health of both pets and pet owners. Fredericks and Brown both believe that an open area accompanied by a walking trail would be the ideal situation for a dog park. The two have thought of lobbying the Region of Queens for the use of a walking trail located just behind the Region’s building.
The walking trail is a one kilometre loop and already has benches and trash cans. Many people use the trail to walk their dogs, as it is not as popular as other parks.
It’s already an unofficial dog park,” says Brown.
The group has created a petition on their Facebook page: Digs for Dogs. A paper one will be going around as well. Fredericks and Brown have been looking to other communities to see how their dog parks are done. Several communities on the South Shore already have community dog parks including one in Chester that just opened in August.