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Greenfield still looking for dog park site

Anonymous foundation offers to help with cost of construction

GREENFIELD — An anonymous donor has pledged to pay 90 percent of what it would cost to build a dog park somewhere in town, but there’s a catch — first the town must find a spot to build the park.

Pam Kinsmith, who with Rachael Kashner started a campaign for Paws Park of Greenfield about a year ago, said there has been a lot of talk about building a dog park over the past 10 months, but there hasn’t been a lot of movement because the town still has not found a good location.

Town officials and organizers of Paws Park would like to see the park built on town-owned land, but much of what there is to choose from has wetlands and marshes, according to town Recreation Department Director Christy Moore, who has been working with Paws Park, the mayor and Planning and Development Director Eric Twarog on the matter.

Moore said it is an anonymous foundation that has offered to pay 90 percent of construction costs. She said the foundation is an expert on building dog parks, so the town would be lucky to partner with it.

There has been some talk that a dog park could cost $10,000 or more to build.

“It’s finding the place that’s been so difficult,” said Kinsmith. “We’ve already raised a couple thousand dollars. People really want to see this happen and they’ve been very generous.”

Kinsmith said Paws Park has no idea how much it will cost to build a park at this point, because no one knows where it will be located and, therefore, how big it will be.

She said most recently several town councilors have become involved, and while Town Council has no jurisdiction over such an issue, some councilors have professed their desire to help in whatever way they can.

Most recently, Mayor William Martin, who has asked the town to consider purchasing the former Meadows golf course property on Deerfield Street, suggested a dog park might work there.

The town also discussed building it on the former Wedgewood Gardens trailer park property, but found that there are too many restrictions on the property, set by the state and federal governments because of the money they provided when a flood destroyed it several years ago.

Kinsmith said the town has also considered a piece of private property near the transfer station and Hillside Park.

“We’re all in discussion mode at this point,” said Kinsmith. “Right now, we just want to make our presence known and get the word out. This would be a great thing for Greenfield and its dog owners and dogs.”

She said as soon as the town finds the right piece of land, the project should move quickly.

According to town clerk records, there could be as many as 2,500 dogs living in Greenfield — about 1,500 are registered with the town and the rest are required by law to be registered.

Kinsmith and Kashner started a Facebook page for Paws Park of Greenfield about a year ago and said it “exploded overnight.”

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