2017-11-06 / Front Page

Owners, canines revel at opening of Saco Dog Park

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By ED PIERCE
Executive Editor

SACO — All dogs have their day and for many four-legged canines and their owners in Saco, that  turned out to be Saturday, Nov. 4, as the new Saco Dog Park officially opened to the public.

Years in the making, the expansive off-leash dog park is situated within Pepperell Park on School Street near Fairfield School in the city.

According to Erika Dube, Saco Recreation administrator, the Saco Dog Park project is estimated to have cost about $13,000 ,which came from private donations. 

Dube said that dog owners Carol and Skip Radin spearheaded the fundraising efforts to create the dog park with support from former Saco Mayor Mark Johnston. The Saco City Council also approved the decision to have the park placed within Pepperell Park.  

"Carol has worked with the Saco Parks and Recreation Department to make this happen over the last five years as the park has been installed and opened," Dube said.

Carol Radin said the project was a labor of love and involved a great deal more than putting up a fence to let dogs run free.

"We looked for just the right space for a long time," she said. "Some sites we looked at just weren't practical until we saw this one."

With plenty of room to roam, dogs and their owners visiting the dog park for its dedication Saturday were impressed by what they found.

Tom Richardson of Saco brought his dog Sully, an 8-month-old black and tan coonhound.

"We sort of discovered this place by accident and are going to be coming out here several times a week," Richardson said. "It's really beautiful here and Sully loves it."

He said that being able to run off-leash and mingle with other dogs at the park is good for Sully.

"Socializiation is huge for dogs," Richardson said. "This is the ideal place for him to run around."

As supporters and city officials looked on a ribbon was cut to welcome visitors to the dog park, which is marked at its entrance by a large sign donated by Carl Goodwin.

Water is available for dogs at the park and so are cleanup bags for dog waste.

Dube said all owners who visit the park must commit to picking up after their dogs in order to keep the park clean.

"Saco Parks and Recreation is responsible for the maintenance of the park and amenities, such as the bag stations that have been recently added," she said.   

The park is open during daylight hours and is surrounded by sturdy chainlink fencing. There is plenty of shade and a secure entrance and exit system for visitors.

"For anyone who is interested in supporting this project, we are still accepting contributions toward the future care and maintenance of the park and any additions," Dube said.

— Executive Editor Ed Pierce can be reached at 282-1535, ext. 326 or by email at editor@journaltribune.com.

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