Fido may have a place to run off-leash in Ellsworth this spring.
On Wednesday night, a group of dog-lovers and Ellsworth’s parks, recreation and development committee met to talk about a potential pop-up dog park within the village.
Community member and creator of Ellsworth Dog Park Facebook group, Buena Farrell, led the discussion and presented the idea to the committee. The plan is to test out a temporary dog park with a plastic snow fence this spring. If all goes well, the goal is to create a permanent park.
“I think it will be something exciting for the community,” Farrell said.
According to Farrell, the pop-up park could go up as early as April (depending on weather) and stay up for a couple of months to gauge the community’s demand for such a park.
Currently the group is looking into locations for the pop-up. During the meeting, various location ideas were brought up, including village-owned land in Crossing Meadows near the Ellsworth water tower and land west of the sewer plant in Ellsworth’s east end.
The pop-up — and potentially the permanent park — would be funded by donations. Funds are currently being raised for various community projects through the Etown Collective Pop-up store. While dropping off items for resale, donors can choose to have their donation’s proceeds go to the dog park project. A GoFundMe page has also been set up with the goal of raising $2,500. Money will go towards fence installation, dog waste bag dispensers and maintenance. Any funds raised now will go to the pop-up dog park. If it is determined that a permanent park is the next step, the group will continue to raise funds.
The evening’s discussion covered possible park regulations. Signs around the park would be posted requiring dogs to be licensed with the village and vaccinated. Dogs would also have to be older than six months and not in heat.
The idea of having separate runs for small and large dogs was entertained.
“That’s something we can look into for the permanent structure,” Farrell said.
The Ellsworth Dog Park initiative will gather more information about the structure of other municipality’s dog parks as well as project cost estimates to create a more detailed proposal. The proposal will be brought to a parks, recreation and development committee meeting Dec. 2.