Sign the Petition to Save the George Street Dog Park!
Dog owners are asking all Town of Babylon and Babylon Village dog owners to help save the George Street Dog Park
On January 19th, without a formal public hearing, Babylon Village’s Board of Trustees voted to close the George Street Dog Park. The dog park has been in its current location—on a large field in Hawleys Lake Park at the end of George Street—since 2012. It is now slated to close this spring. The Village plans to expand and improve its existing dog run on Locust Avenue, which is located about a mile away, before the George Street dog park is closed, according to the Mayor.
The Board’s decision came after several residents from the Whalers Cove Condominium complex, which is located along Route 231, across a driveway from the dog park, complained at a Dec. 14th Board meeting about barking dogs that were affecting their quality of life. Several urged the Village Board to move the dog park someplace else.
Within days of the decision to close the park, dog owners led by local resident Kelly Morenus created a petition to Save the George Street Dog Park. Sign the George Street Park Petition now!
Dog owners contend that complaints about dogs barking are overblown, noting that the park is closed at dusk and does not open again until the morning and that the park is often empty.
Moreover, they say, closing the dog park will seriously affect THEIR quality life by taking away a vital recreational resource and breaking up the community of people that has grown around the dog park. “As someone who does not have children and did not know many of my fellow community members, this dog park has been essential in helping me feel like I belong here,” said Morenus, who moved to the Village 5 years ago. “Now there is a little family of us,” she said. “Our dogs became friends, so we became friends…It seems unconscionable to vote to close down one of the few places that actually fosters this sense of community.”
In an effort to find a solution that would work for both dog owners and condo residents, Morenus and her colleagues presented a proposal to the Village Board on Feb. 8th that would move the dog park further into the 4.5-acre park, away from the condo complex, and install solid fencing, landscaping, and other features to buffer any noise. Within 24 hours of receiving the proposal, however, the Village Mayor rejected it, saying the decision was final.
Despite the Village Board’s current position, Morenus and her colleagues remain committed to coming up with a solution that the Village Board will accept and that will meet the needs of the dog owner community. Morenus and her colleagues note that while improving the Locust Avenue dog run is welcome, that dog run, which is located near LIRR tracks, raises safety and accessibility concerns. “The George Street Dog Park is a beloved community asset,” Morenus noted. Its loss would be “devastating.”
What You Can Do: If you are a Town of Babylon or Babylon Village resident and would like to help save the George Street Dog Park for the dog owner community, please:
1) Sign the petition to Save the George Street Dog Park NOW! Once you’ve signed, SHARE the petition with all your dog-friendly friends and family in Babylon. The petition already has more than 300 signatures, but it needs more!
2) Come to the Tues., March 8th Village Board meeting at Village Hall, 153 W. Main Street, Babylon 11702. Make sure the Mayor and the Board SEE how many people want to save the dog park!
3) Call or email the Mayor’s office at 631-669-1212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
a. Let the Mayor and Village Board know you support a solution that works for everybody–dog owners and condo residents alike. The Village’s current plan never got input from the people who actually use the park. Dog owners are voters and taxpayers, too, and their interests deserve just as much consideration as other Village residents.
b. Urge the Mayor and Village Board not to break up the community that has grown up around the George Street dog park. Closing the dog park and moving its operations to another dog park will seriously damage their community.
4) Keep up with the latest developments in this effort to save the George Street Dog Park by going to KellyinBabylon. The website is full of useful information about what’s happening and what you can do to help!
Thank you for your support!