SUPPORTS THE DOG PARK
In the past forty years I have lived in fifteen different towns and cities. Most of them had dog parks; some even had beaches where dogs could run in the off-season or at night.
Bethel, too, needs a dog park. I know that we are a rural area with numerous trails and outdoor parks. However, I have not found a place where my dog can safely run, play, and socialize with other dogs while off-leash. Many of our trails are close to roads or railroads. I live on 12 acres of wooded land, inhabited by wildlife, including predators such as foxes, fishers, and coyotes. I have even run into a coyote while snowshoeing on a trail close to my house. As the owner of a medium-sized dog, the possibility of encountering a coyote while walking my dog is a frightening prospect. That is one reason why I support the dog park. Some area residents do not have access to outdoor spaces to run their dogs because they live in apartments. A dog park will be a wonderful asset for all of us.
Some residents have raised the concern that taxpayers’ money will be used to fund a dog park. In tough economic times, this is a genuine concern. However, like the skateboard park and the children’s park, the dog park will not be built or maintained with taxpayers’ money. The Friends of the Bethel Dog Park is raising funds that will be used. This includes obtaining individual contributions, grants, and holding fundraising activities. Supporters of the dog park meet the first and third Thursdays of each month at 6 p.m. at the Mahoosuc Land Trust Building to discuss plans for the park and fundraising activities. Everyone is welcome to join us.
Thank you very much.