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.01/23/2017 – Hempstead Supervisor Santino Supports Dog Friendly Parks

 

Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino

Hempstead Supervisor Santino Supports Dog-Friendly Town Parks! In letter to LI-DOG, Supervisor offers to work with LI-DOG to determine where additional dog-friendly areas can be made throughout the town’s 1,400 plus acres of public parkland and beaches. Read the Supervisor’s Letter and get the details at Hempstead Supervisor Supports Dog-Friendly Parks!

 

 


Hempstead Supervisor Santino Supports Dog Friendly Parks

Hempstead Supervisor Santino Offers To Work with LI-DOG For More Dog-Friendly Town Parks!

“More Access for Canines…a Top Priority” He Writes

Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino

Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino Announces New Dog Park

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino made a commitment to LI-DOG to work toward making the Town of Hempstead dog friendly by providing access to town parkland. As a result, on September 21, 2016, town residents and their dogs welcomed a beautiful 14,025 sq. foot dog park located in the Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore.

This park is only the beginning! After reaching out to Supervisor Santino to express words of thanks for his efforts and the resulting park (Read Hempstead Opens Dog Park at Newbridge Road Park!), the Supervisor responded with a positive letter informing LI-DOG of his continued commitment to their “dog park initiative.” In his letter to LI-DOG, Supervisor Santino explains how providing canine access to Town of Hempstead parks is a “top priority” and that “protecting animals has been a cornerstone of my administration since taking office.” He closes the letter by saying that he is willing to work with LI-DOG and other community advocates to “determine where additional dog-friendly areas could be made throughout our parks, beaches, and areas of open space”.  Read Supervisor Santino’s complete letter.

Resident dogs and their families have welcomed this park and have expressed their hope that this be the first of many dog-friendly areas in other town parks. Having support from town officials is a giant step in the direction toward the elimination of the numerous “No Dogs Allowed” signs and restrictions that were enacted in all Town of Hempstead parks.  Supervisor Santino’s continued support for the health and socialization of our canine companions is the first step to bringing the Town of Hempstead into a new era.

Writing letters, sending emails, and making phone calls to show support for the new TOH dog park and the Supervisor’s dog-friendly initiative will greatly help the campaign for a similar park or on-leash access for additional Town of Hempstead parks and beaches. To let Supervisor Santino know how much you appreciate his new dog-friendly parks initiative, call 516-489-6000, email asantino@tohmail.org, or write Office of the Supervisor, Town of Hempstead, One Washington St., Hempstead, NY 11550-4923.

Thank you for your support!

 

 


.01/09/2017 – West Hills Large Dog Park Reopened

 

West Hills Two Dogs Running

West Hills Large Dog Park Reopened! Temporary Fencing Dividing West Hills Small Dog Park Removed. The actions by the Suffolk Parks Dept. in early January follow a NYS DEC report that found no contamination in or close to the large dog park as a result of illegal dumping nearby. Read the details at Large Dog Park at West Hills County Park Reopened!


01/09/2017 – West Hills Large Dog Park Reopened

Large Dog Park at West Hills County Park Reopened!

Suffolk Parks Action Follows Temporary Closure Due to Illegal Dumping Nearby

West Hills Two Dogs Running

Maki and Rider Enjoying the West Hills Large Dog Park Photo Credit: Dana Richter Photography

The West Hills Large Dog Park  on Sweet Hollow Rd. has reopened! The Suffolk Parks Dept. took the action on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, after an investigation by the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation found there was no contamination in or close to the dog park. Health concerns had been raised as a result of illegal dumping at the nearby Sweet Hills Stables.

Suffolk Parks Commissioner Philip Berdolt explained the decision in a statement released to LI-DOG on Jan. 9th:

We are pleased to reopen the large dog park at West Hills. After a long investigation and extensive testing done by NYSDEC, it has been determined that there are no contaminants in or close to the dog park and therefore we are able to reopen. We thank the Public for patience and understanding during this difficult time and look forward to welcoming all the happy four legged friends back! Thank you and enjoy!

At the same time as the large dog park was reopened, the West Hills small dog park on High Hold Drive was restored to its full size. In an effort to accommodate users of the large dog park, which was temporarily closed in Sept. while the investigation into illegal dumping got underway, the Parks Dept. had installed temporary fencing in the small dog park dividing it into two. While LI-DOG proposed alternative temporary off-leash areas for users of the large dog park, the Parks Dept. noted that dividing the small dog park in two was the only option given the County’s dire financial situation. (Read about the division of the small dog park and the closing of the large dog park at West Hills Dog Park Closes Temporarily)

The temporary fencing in the small dog park has now been removed and the small dog park, which covers one-third of an acre, is once again only for dogs 25 pounds and under. The large dog park, which covers almost two acres on Sweet Hollow Rd., is for dogs 26 pounds and over.

At one time the dog park on High Hold Drive was the only dog park in Suffolk County. In 2005 and 2006, LI-DOG worked with Suffolk County Legislator Lou D’Amaro and the Suffolk County Parks Dept. to transform an often unused field on Sweet Hollow Rd. into the West Hills large dog park.

The reopening of the large dog park on Sweet Hollow Rd. follows a Nov. 2016 letter to Suffolk County residents by the Suffolk Dept. of Health Services in which the Dept. noted that laboratory analyses of soil in the vicinity of the riding stable “do not suggest excessive, widespread contamination…even though the levels may exceed those required for criminal prosecution.” In fact, contaminant levels “do not represent an unusual exposure for an active recreational setting, like the riding center,” the Dept. wrote. (Read the Suffolk Health Dept. Letter on West Hills.)

We at LI-DOG are extremely grateful to the Suffolk County Parks Dept. for its diligent and proactive approach to managing the situation with the large dog park at West Hills County Park. Both dog parks in West Hills have become important to the daily lives of many people and their dogs. Thank you, Suffolk Parks, for working to meet the needs of those of us who love and cherish our dogs!

To get the latest on the West Hills small dog park, go to the West Hills Small Dog Park Facebook Group . To check out what’s happening at the West Hills large dog park, go to the West Hills Dog Park Facebook Group.

Thank you for your support!

 

 

 


11/29/2016 – West Hills Large Dog Park Closed Temporarily

West Hills Large Dog Park Closed Due to Illegal

Dumping Nearby

Small Dog Park on High Hold Drive Split to

Accommodate Large Dogs

The West Hills Dog Park for large dogs, which covers almost two acres on Sweet Hollow Rd., has been closed temporarily as a result of illegal dumping at the nearby Sweet Hills Stables. At this point, there is no evidence that contaminated material was illegally dumped in the dog park itself as the soil did not appear disturbed. Moreover, the Suffolk Dept. of Health Services announced on Nov. 3, 2016 that laboratory analyses “do not suggest excessive, widespread contamination…even though the levels may exceed those required for criminal prosecution.”  In fact, contaminant levels “do not represent an unusual exposure for an active recreational setting, like the riding center,” the Health Dept. concluded.

Nevertheless, the dog park was closed and will remain closed while the investigation into illegal dumping continues by the District Attorney’s office. “Due to the sheer scope of the situation and the fact that it is still a very active and ongoing investigation, [rectifying the situation] is likely to take longer than anyone would like,” Adina Beedenbender, Assistant to Suffolk Parks Commissioner Phil Berdolt, wrote in an email to LI-DOG on Oct. 21st.

In an effort to accommodate users of the large dog park, the Suffolk Parks Dept. on Tues., Oct. 25th installed temporary fencing in the West Hills small dog park on High Hold Drive, dividing it into two not quite equal halves. The small dog park covers approximately one-third of an acre.

West Hills Small Dog Park Split by Temporary Fencing

Photo Credit: Victoria Zappola

In emails to the Parks Dept. starting on Fri., Oct. 21st, LI-DOG urged the Parks Dept. to look at alternatives to splitting the High Hold Drive dog park in two. LI-DOG expressed concerns that the two halves would be too small for either big or small dogs and that the situation could lead to overcrowding and issues between dogs. “The main reason LI-DOG worked so hard in 2006 to get the large dog park on Sweet Hollow Rd. created was because of complaints about overcrowding and problems at the dog park on High Hold Dr.,” LI-DOG wrote in its email.  At one time the High Hold Drive dog park was the only dog park in Suffolk County.

Rather than create two very small off-leash areas, LI-DOG proposed that the Parks Dept. consider creating temporary off-leash areas in other open areas of West Hills Park. One possibility would be the back half of the parking lot on High Hold Drive. While the surface would need to be dealt with as it is currently gravel and dirt, the area is a decent size and could be easily fenced with temporary fencing. LI-DOG also proposed creating a temporary dog park on the large field south of the small dog park or even creating an off-leash hours program on that large field, in the mornings and evenings, for example, when people could let their dogs off-leash.

Unfortunately, Parks Commissioner Berdolt responded that at the time dividing the small dog park in two while “not ideal,” was the” only option,”  given there’s no money in the budget for anything other than everyday operations.  “Please remember this situation was not created by the county and we are doing our best to accommodate the public,” the Commissioner added.

We at LI-DOG are extremely disappointed and frustrated with the closure of the West Hills Large Dog Park on Sweet Hollow Rd. We worked hard with Suffolk County Leg. Lou D’Amaro to get this big, beautiful dog park created and for 10 years it has been an important part of the daily lives of many people and their dogs. We hope those responsible for the illegal dumping and the closure of the large dog park will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that when the large dog park at West Hills County Park reopens it will be better than ever.

In the meantime, we will monitor the situation and provide updates on new information as we receive it. We invite dog owners to reach out to us at lidog_news@yahoo.com with any ideas, questions, or information.

For conditions at the West Hills dog park, check out the West Hills Small Dog Park Facebook Group or the Facebook Group for the large dog park community at West Hills Dog Park.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

 


.11/28/2016 – Suffolk Parks Commissioner Approved

 

 

New Suffolk Parks Commissioner Approved in Oct. 2016Suffolk Parks Banner Image. New Commissioner supports continued on-leash access throughout Suffolk County parks. Commissioner also addresses temporary closing of large dog park in West Hills County Park in statement to LI-DOG and the Suffolk Legislature’s Parks Committee. Get the details at Suffolk Parks Commissioner Approved.

 

 


11/28/2016 – Suffolk Parks Commissioner Approved

New Suffolk Parks Commissioner Approved in Oct. 2016

New Commish Supports Continued On-Leash Access to County Parks

Suffolk Parks Banner Image

Suffolk County got a new Parks Commissioner on Oct. 5, 2016, when the Suffolk County Legislature approved the appointment of Philip Berdolt to head the Parks Department. Berdolt was previously Deputy Public Works Commissioner when he was appointed to the Parks position by County Executive Steve Bellone. The Suffolk Parks Dept. oversees the management of 46,000 acres of public parkland including six large dog parks and off-leash areas and miles of dog-friendly on-leash walking trails.

In response to questions submitted by LI-DOG to the Suffolk County Legislature’s Parks Committee, Berdolt said that as a dog owner he “fully appreciates that almost all Suffolk County parks are available to on-leash dogs” adding in a written statement, “it is important for parks to be accessible not only to all our residents, but to our four-legged ones as well.” The new Parks Commissioner also expressed support for the county’s off-leash areas, saying he understands how valuable the county’s dog parks are to its residents. He noted he sees the Cherry Ave. dog park every day since it’s so close to the Parks Administration headquarters in W. Sayville. Leg. Bill Lindsay III, chair of the Parks Committee, echoed that support, saying that the Cherry Ave. Dog Park is “a real asset to the community.” Leg. Lindsay’s father, past-Leg. William J. Lindsay, sponsored the resolution that secured the funding to create the Cherry Ave. Dog Park in Aug. 2011. (To see a picture of the dog park ribbon cutting with then-Leg. William Lindsay and read all about how the dog park came about, go to Cherry Avenue Dog Park Now Open!)

Commissioner Berdolt also addressed the temporary closing of the large dog park on Sweet Hollow Road in West Hills County Park, because of alleged illegal dumping near the stables. In his statement, Berdolt said the dog park would have to remain closed while the situation was under investigation by the District Attorney’s Office. In the meantime, he said, provisions would be made for large dogs at the small dog park on High Hold Drive in West Hills County Park. (To read more about the dog park situation in West Hills, go to West Hills Large Dog Park Closed Temporarily.)

At the conclusion of the Parks Committee meeting, both Commissioner Berdolt and Parks Committee Chair Lindsay offered to meet with LI-DOG to discuss the county’s ongoing support for dog parks and dog-friendly policies in general. LI-DOG will set up such a meeting in early 2017.

As always, if you get a chance to meet Leg. Lindsay or the Parks Commissioner, let them know how much you appreciate Suffolk County’s dog-friendly parks policies! You can email them anytime at William.Lindsay@suffolkcountyny.gov and scparks@suffolkcountyny.gov.

Thanks for your support!

 


.11/17/2016 – Newbridge Road Dog Park

 

Newbridge Road Dog Park

 

Hempstead Opens Its First Dog Park at Newbridge Road Park! Beautiful new dog park features areas for large and small dogs, paw-friendly synthetic turf, agility equipment, picnic tables and umbrellas. New dog park fulfills commitment made by Supervisor Anthony Santino to LI-DOG in Oct. 2015. Read all about it at Hempstead Opens First Dog Park at Newbridge Road Park.  

 


11/17/2016 – Newbridge Road Dog Park

Hempstead Opens Its First Dog Park at Newbridge

Road Park!

Dog Park Fulfills Commitment Made by Supervisor Santino to LI-DOG

By Marie Amsterdam

Newbridge Road Dog Park

Small Dog Area at Newbridge Road Dog Park

The beautiful Newbridge Road Dog Park celebrated its opening in September 2016 and is the first dog friendly area in a Town of Hempstead park.  Its 14,025 square feet of play area (divided to give separate space for large and small dogs) is securely fenced and has paw-friendly synthetic turf for ground cover. Appropriately sized agility equipment within each section, including ramps, hurdles, and hoops, ensures activity and fun for all. Picnic tables, with umbrellas, and benches provide ample seating area for all the human companions and water fountains are available for both people and pups. Hours are daily, 8AM to dusk.

This park is the result of a commitment Supervisor Anthony J. Santino made to LI-DOG in Oct. 2015 to work towards creating dog-friendly areas with in Town of Hempstead parks. To read LI-DOG’s Letter to the Editor of Newsday thanking Supervisor Santino for making the new dog park happen, go LI-DOG Letter to Newsday Newbridge Road Dog Park. See also Supervisor Santino’s announcement that construction of the new park was underway in May 2016.

The Newbridge Road Dog Park is located at 2600 Newbridge Rd. in Bellmore, NY. For directions, get the Google Map.

Visit the Town of Hempstead website for additional information and the park rules.


.11/8/2016 – LI-DOG Thanks Nassau County Exec

 

LI-DOG Certificate of Thanks Presented to Nassau County Exec Ed Mangano at Barkfest 2016

 

LI-DOG Presents Nassau County Exec Ed Mangano with Certificate of Thanks for Opening Nassau County Parks to Leashed Dogs for First Time. Presentation at Barkfest 2016 thanks the County Executive for following through on his 2013 commitment to LI-DOG to increase access to the County’s 6,000 acres of public parkland to dog owners and their dogs. To read about the presentation and the parks now available for on-leash dog walking, go to LI-DOG Thanks Nassau County Exec.