Letting The Dogs Out In New Paltz

New Paltz is considering the proper acreage for a community dog park.
New Paltz is considering the proper acreage for a community dog park.

Dog lovers and owners in New Paltz will soon have a place to unite.

At a recent town board meeting, plans for a closed-area dog park in New Paltz were approved. The dog park, which will be built on Libertyville Road, was first brought up to Town Councilwoman Kristin Brown and Town Supervisor Susan Zimet several years ago.

Brown said her advocacy for the dog park began when some of her neighbors expressed interest in a dog park.

“I have a couple of neighbors who are really big dog lovers and they told me how much they would love to have a dog park in New Paltz,” Brown said. “I think that’s something that would be great for our town’s Parks and Recreations Department as well.”

Brown said she believes having a dog park in New Paltz would benefit a community driven by its diversity.

“I think New Paltz is a town with so many different types of constituents with different interests, and having a dog park would be a great way to bring people together,” Brown said. “There’s a whole population of people who exercise with their dogs, but don’t have a place to go to do so, which is why I think a dog park in New Paltz would be extremely successful.”

Zimet said the cost of building the park will depend on how much land it takes up.

“The park could be anything between $15,000 and $25,000 to build,” Zimet said. “It’ll really depend on how big we want the park to be.”

Third-year history major Rebeca Baker said  having a dog park in New Paltz would greatly serve the community, especially pet-owners who attend SUNY New Paltz.

“I think having a dog park is a great idea,” Baker said. “I know plenty of college students who live off campus and don’t have a place to bring their pets to get exercise. My only concern is whether or not they’ll make sure dogs have gone through all of their medical check-ups and have all the shots they need, just to make sure that other dogs can’t get sick.”

Brown said while proposal plans for acreage and to build the park are in action, there’s still a ways to go before it will be open to the public.

“Right now, I would love to see the park be opened by the end of this year, but I just think that isn’t realistic right now,” Brown said. “There are a bunch of logistical hoops to go through, but it will be something very special once it’s set up.”