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.12/30/2019 – Huntington Opens Heckscher Park to Leashed Dogs

 

Huntington Opens Heckscher Park to Leashed Dogs!

A pilot program to allow leashed dogs in Huntington’s Heckscher Park started Jan. 1, 2020! Councilwoman Joan Cergol, sponsor of the resolution that created the pilot program, and LI-DOG simultaneously launched a public education effort to make sure dog owners are aware of the common sense rules designed to make the pilot program a success. For details on the pilot program, the rules for the park, and what dog owners can do to help  make the pilot a success, go to Huntington Opens Heckscher Park to Leashed Dogs.


12/30/2019 – Huntington Opens Heckscher Park to Leashed Dogs

Huntington Opens Heckscher Park to Leashed Dogs!

 

Pilot program sponsored by Councilwoman Joan Cergol includes educational campaign aided by LI-DOG 

 

The Pond at Huntington’s Heckscher Park

A pilot program to allow leashed dogs in Huntington’s Heckscher Park started January 1, 2020! The pilot program is the result of a resolution sponsored by Huntington Councilwoman Joan Cergol and passed unanimously by the Huntington Town Board on Oct. 16th, 2019. The resolution establishes a three-month pilot program with the expectation is that if the first three months are successful, the pilot will be extended for another three months and so on throughout the year.

In order to make sure the pilot program is a success, Councilwoman Cergol is working with the Long Island Dog Owners Group (LI-DOG) on an educational campaign to spread the word about common sense rules for the park.

The educational campaign includes:

  • An explanatory video featuring Councilwoman Cergol and her beautiful boxer, Dempsey. (See Councilwoman Cergol’s Video now.)
  • Detailed signage to be installed at all park entrances.
  • An at-a-glance card flyer detailing the rules.
  • A dedicated cadre of LI-DOG volunteers who will serve as ambassadors in the park, handing out the card and answering questions from dog owners and persons without dogs. (If you would like to serve as an LI-DOG park ambassador, email lidog_news@yahoo.com.)
  • Installation of dog waste bag dispensers at the park.

“The key to this program’s success is dog owners understanding what is allowed and respecting the rights of all people who want to enjoy Huntington’s signature park, both with and without dogs,” Councilwoman Cergol said. “That’s the main thrust of our educational campaign.”

“LI-DOG’s members understand that bringing their dogs to Heckscher is a privilege that we would like to see become permanent,” said Ginny Munger Kahn, LI-DOG’s president. “Our volunteers want to make sure that all dog owners understand their responsibility to make this program work.”

 

The rules, as noted in both the signage and the information card, require dog owners to:

  • Keep dogs on leash (maximum 6 feet) and under control. No retractable leashes.
  • Pick up and properly dispose of dog waste.
  • Yield to all other park goers on the paths by stepping off the path.
  • Keep dogs out of the playground, picnic areas and tennis courts and the ball field, when in use.
  • Keep dogs quiet during events at the Harry Chapin Rainbow Stage.
  • Avoid wildlife for their safety and their dog’s.
  • Keep dogs out of the plantings and the pond.
  • Have dogs licensed and vaccinated.
  • Have no more than two dogs per handler.
  • Respect other park goers so the park is a good experience for everyone!

Park-goers with safety concerns are advised to call the Town’s 24-hour Public Safety number, 631-351-3234.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the beauty and serenity of Heckscher Park and the rules established for this program should ensure that this remains the case,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “Please let us know about your experience with the 90-day dog-walking pilot program so that we can fully assess the success of this program at the end of March.”

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson said, “Combining this pilot program with an educational campaign will give us the feedback from residents we need to ensure that everyone can enjoy the park.”

Councilman Eugene Cook said, “Over the years many people have reached out to the Town Board asking to remove the Heckscher Park ban on allowing dogs in the park.  As these residents would like to enjoy using Heckscher Park with their families, including their canine companions, as they have been able to do at other locations without incident for years.  As a dog owner, I understand the strong relationship between an owner and their companion. This pilot program to allow leashed dogs in Heckscher Park will build on those relationships, and it will also be a benefit for our community as a whole.  In order to ensure that this is properly implemented, I would like to hear all of our resident’s comments, concerns, and suggestions during the pilot period so that we can ensure this program can continue in the future or not.”

Councilman Ed Smith said, “I encourage pilot programs. It gives the residents and elected officials the opportunity to work together on programs within the Town to meet everyone’s needs and pleasures.”

The different facets of the educational program were worked out by a committee that included representatives from various Town departments and LI-DOG; Karen Thomas, who organized the petition drive asking for dogs to be allowed in the park; and Len Urban, from the Town’s Citizens Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities. The Citizens Advisory Committee wanted to ensure that a dog-friendly Heckscher remained friendly for everyone, including persons with mobility issues.

“I thank LI-DOG and all of the members of the committee for creating this educational program and I appreciate the dedication of the volunteer ambassadors,” Councilwoman Cergol said.

For more information about the pilot program, call Councilwoman Cergol’s office at 631-351-3173 or email LI-DOG at lidog_news@yahoo.com.

And if you plan to walk your dog to Heckscher Park, please volunteer to become an LI-DOG Park Ambassador! Help us make the pilot program a success by emailing us at lidog_news@yahoo.com.

Thank you for your support!

 


.11/07/2019 – Oyster Bay Opens New Dog Park at Centre Island Beach!

 

Oyster Bay Opens New Dog Park at Centre Island Beach in Bayville!

12 Small Parks Also Now Designated On-Leash Dog-Friendly

The Town of Oyster Bay made two big announcements in October that has tails wagging for resident dog owners: A pilot program for on-leash walking in 12 Town parklettes–small neighborhood parks–and the opening of the first dedicated dog park on the North Shore – at Centre Island Beach in Bayville! To get details, go to Oyster Bay Opens New Dog Park at Centre Island Beach! 


11/07/2019 – Oyster Bay Opens New Dog Park at Centre Island Beach!

 

Oyster Bay Opens 12 Small Parks to Leashed Dogs

Oyster Bay Opens New Dog Park at Centre Island Beach in Bayville!

12 Small Parks Also Now Designated On-Leash Dog-Friendly

The Town of Oyster Bay made two big announcements in October that has tails wagging for resident dog owners: A pilot program for on-leash walking in 12 Town parklettes–small neighborhood parks; and the opening of the first dedicated dog park on the North Shore – at Centre Island Beach in Bayville.

On Tuesday October 8th, Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Councilman Steve Labriola met with local residents at the parklette off Split Rock Road in Syosset to kick-off this new initiative. Jill Hooey, a local high schooler and Girl Scout, worked with Councilman Labriola and Parks Commissioner Joseph Pinto to identify neighborhood parks where residents could walk their dogs on leash. Twelve parklettes have been identified for the pilot on-leash program:

• H-16, Hunter Lane & Northern Parkway, Hicksville
• H-18, Tudor Road & Lyon Court, Hicksville
• F-6, Lincoln Street & Meadow Court, Farmingdale
• J-1, Maytime Drive & Mellow Lane, Jericho
• B-11, Flamingo Drive & Caffrey Ave., Bethpage
• M-15, Burton Lane & Unqua Road, Massapequa
• M-16, Clocks Blvd. & Bayview Place, Massapequa
• M-17, Pittsburgh Ave. & Westwood Road, Massapequa
• P-15, Sylvia Lane & Warren Place
• S-20, Split Rock Road & Radley Drive, Syosset
• S-30, Market Drive & Woodbury Road, Syosset
• S-17, Townsend Drive & Cold Spring Road, Syosset

Then, at a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on October 16th, Supervisor Saladino, Councilman Labriola and Councilwoman Michele Johnson joined local officials and residents to officially open the dog park located at Centre Island Beach in Bayville. The dog park is the result of the efforts of local dog owners Joe Russo and Jen Jones who worked with Town officials to get the park sited and built. Key to getting the park created was a $100,000 grant obtained by New York State Senators Carl Marcellino and Jim Gaughran for the project.

The new dog park has separate areas for small dogs and large dogs and a wood-chip base. Water facilities are available on each side of the park. The dog park is close to a walking trail along Harbor Drive, which dog owners can also enjoy.

We hope everyone has fun in these new dog-friendly park facilities! Thanks to Oyster Bay  Town officials and local dog owners who made it  happen! 

 


.10/16/2019 – Heckscher Park Pilot Program Allows Leashed Dogs!

 

Huntington Town Board Approves Pilot Program to Allow Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park!

A resolution introduced by Huntington Councilwoman Joan Cergol to create a pilot program to allow people to walk their leashed dogs in Huntington’s Heckscher Park passed the Town Board unanimously on Wed., Oct. 16th. The pilot program starts Jan. 1st and runs until March 31st when it is assumed it will roll over for another three months. The resolution was the result of an online petition that has gotten more than 2,500 signatures! For details on this groundbreaking development for dog owners, go to Heckscher Park Pilot Program Allows Leashed Dogs! 


10/16/2019 – Heckscher Park Pilot Program Allows Leashed Dogs!

 

Huntington Town Board Approves Pilot Program to Allow Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park!

Pilot Program to Start Jan. 1st

A resolution introduced by Huntington Councilwoman Joan Cergol to create a pilot program to allow people to walk their leashed dogs in Heckscher Park passed the Huntington Town Board unanimously Wednesday night, Oct. 16th! The groundbreaking vote came at a marathon Town Board Meeting and was greeted with applause.

Thank you to Councilwoman Cergol for introducing the resolution and thank you to Councilman Eugene Cook for seconding it!

The pilot program starts Jan. 1st and runs until March 31st. Assuming the pilot is successful, the program should roll over for the following three months and so on for up to a year. The Parks Director will report back to the Town Board on the initial phase on April 15th with any recommendations.

The resolution is the result of an online petition started by Huntington dog owner and PR pro Karen Thomas. That petition, which asked the Town Board to make Heckscher Park a dog-friendly park by allowing leashed dogs, has generated more than 2,500 signatures and great comments from hundreds of dog owners. (To read the petition, go to Petition to Allow Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park.  To read some of the great comments made by dog owners, go to Quotes from Petition Signers. ) Thank you to everyone who signed and shared the petition!! Thomas submitted the petition and comments to the Town Board Wednesday night.

The resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Cergol and approved by the Town Board allows people to walk their leashed dogs in Heckscher Park except for in the playground, in picnic areas and on the tennis courts. On-leash dogs are permitted on the sports fields, but only when there are no formal or informal games going on. Also, in an important first, leashed dogs are conditionally permitted during performances at the Harry Chapin Rainbow Stage as long as the dogs are quiet and “in no way disruptive.” Finally, dogs are allowed to be walked on-leash on the path around the pond on the condition that dog owners yield to all other park users.

Concerns have been expressed by some senior citizens and people representing those with disabilities that the path around the pond is too narrow to avoid unwanted encounters between people and dogs. The language in the resolution and proper signage can address those concerns, LI-DOG noted in a Letter Supporting Allowing Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park. Current park rules state that in addition to cleaning up after their dogs:

• Dogs Must Remain Leashed

• Dogs Must Yield to Other Park Users.

Keeping dogs on leash and under control at all times and yielding to other park users should address any remaining concerns about allowing leashed dogs in Heckscher Park, LI-DOG noted in the letter.

In an effort to make sure the pilot program is successful, LI-DOG, Thomas and other dog owners have agreed to help create and participate in a public education campaign to make sure dog owners are aware of the rules of the park. Starting the pilot program on Jan. 1st will provide ample time to develop the public education effort as well as educate dog owners about the rules during the pilot program phase, noted LI-DOG.

“The relationship between dogs and humans continues to evolve,” said Councilwoman Cergol,  “and it is becoming increasingly common to see humans and their canine companions together in public places –- on streets, in restaurants and stores and in parks. While I understand some of the reservations, at the very least, given the many requests, it is worthwhile undertaking a pilot to see if allowing dogs in Heckscher is workable,” she said.

On-leash access to Heckscher Park has been a top goal of Huntington dog owners for several years. The Town opened virtually all its parks to leashed dogs in August 2017, but carved out an exception for Heckscher Park saying the park was too busy. Now because of the petition started by Thomas and the intense interest dog owners have shown in being able to walk their leashed dogs in the park, plus because Councilwoman Cergol listened to her constituents and got the resolution passed, dog owners will finally have the chance to enjoy Heckscher Park with their pups.

Thanks so much to Karen Thomas, who was a GREAT partner to LI-DOG, for making this happen. Special big thanks to Councilwoman Joan Cergol for sponsoring the resolution and getting it passed unanimously. Finally thanks to all our friends, neighbors and supporters who signed the petition, sent emails and showed up for the Town Board Meeting Wednesday night!

Of course, it’s critical we make sure the pilot program works well, and we’ll depend on our fellow dog owners to make that happen, but in the meantime, this is a BIG win for Huntington dog owners and their pups!

What You Can Do:
Please let Councilwoman Cergol and her colleagues on the Huntington Town Board know how much you appreciate their unanimous support for allowing people to walk their leashed dogs in Heckscher Park. The more people they hear from, the more likely the pilot program will be viewed as successful!

Hon. Chad A. Lupinacci, Supervisor
Town Hall (Room 200)
100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 351-3030
clupinacci@huntingtonny.gov

Hon. Joan Cergol, Councilwoman
Town Hall (Room 303)
100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 351-3173
JCergol@huntingtonny.gov

Hon. Eugene Cook, Councilman
Town Hall (Room 303)
100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 351-3174
ECook@HuntingtonNY.gov

Hon. Mark Cuthbertson, Councilman
Town Hall (Room 303)
100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 351-3172
MCuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov

Hon. Edmund J.M. Smyth, Councilman
Town Hall (Room 303)
100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 351-3175
ESmyth@HuntingtonNY.gov

Thank you for your support!

 


.10/13/2019 – Resolution Intro’d to Allow Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park!

 

Resolution To Allow Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park!

Proposal is Result of OnLine Petition with 2,000+ Signatures

People would be allowed to walk their leashed dogs in Huntington’s Heckscher Park under a pilot program proposed by Huntington Councilwoman Joan Cergol. The proposal for a pilot program is up for a vote at Huntington Town Hall Wednesday evening, Oct. 16th! The proposal is the result of an online petition that has generated more than 2,000 signatures that asks the Huntington Town Board to make Heckscher Park a dog-friendly park by allowing leashed dogs. To get details on the proposal and what you can do to help make it happen, go to Resolution Introduced to Allow On-Leash Dog Walking in Heckscher Park!


10/11/2019 – Resolution to Allow On-Leash Dog Walking at Heckscher Park!


Resolution Introduced to Allow On-Leash Dog Walking in Huntington’s Heckscher Park!

 

Pilot Program Proposal is Result of Successful Petition to Allow Leashed Dogs in Heckscher Park

 

People would be allowed to walk their dogs on-leash in Heckscher Park under a pilot program proposed by Huntington Councilwoman Joan Cergol. The pilot program is included in a resolution introduced by Councilwoman Cergol and is scheduled to be considered at the Wed., Oct. 16th Town Board meeting. Thank you, Councilwoman Cergol!

All interested Huntington dog owners are invited to attend! No need to speak, just show up in numbers. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 100 Main St., Huntington, NY 11743.

Councilwoman Cergol’s resolution is the result of an online petition that has gotten more than 2,000 signatures since it was posted in late August. Started by Huntington dog owner and PR pro Karen Thomas, the petition asks the Town Board to make Heckscher Park a dog-friendly park by allowing leashed dogs. While 2,000 signatures is great, we are still looking for more signatures, especially from Huntington residents. The Town Board needs to see overwhelming public support for making Heckscher Park dog friendly. Sign the petition NOW! 

The petition notes that a dog-friendly park policy works well in nearby Northport Village Park keeping the park clean of goose droppings, creating a socially-friendly environment, and supporting local businesses. “Northport Harbor Park has allowed leashed dogs for years and is very busy with happy dog owners walking their dogs and enjoying events at the park,” noted Thomas. “But outdated laws have prohibited Huntington’s dog owners from walking their leashed dogs (in Heckscher Park), making the paths virtually empty when there are no events…and covered every day with goose droppings.”

The Town of Huntington opened virtually all its parks to leashed dogs in August 2017. The policy has proven both popular and successful. However, in opening virtually all town parks to leashed dogs, the Town carved out an exception for Heckscher Park, saying there was concern the park was too busy to accommodate dog owners and their pups.

In order to address that concern, the resolution maintains restrictions on dogs in the playground, in picnic areas, on the ball fields when they are in use, and in other active recreation areas. This is consistent with park policy throughout the town. The resolution also states that on-leash dog walking will be allowed on the walkway surrounding Heckscher Park Pond under the strict rule that dog owners yield to other pedestrians on the path. This also is consistent with town rules that require dog owners to keep dogs on leash and under control and that dogs yield to other park users on trails.

Restricting dogs from active recreation areas, having dogs on leash and under control at all times, and yielding to other park users on the paths should address any remaining concerns about allowing leashed dogs in Heckscher Park, said Ginny Munger Kahn, president of LI-DOG. “The leashed dogs policy works well in Northport, not to mention thousands of other community parks around the country,” she added. “There’s no reason to think Heckscher Park should be different.”

In an important first, Councilwoman Cergol’s resolution would also allow leashed dogs in the area around the Harry Chapin Rainbow Stage during events, provided dogs remain quiet and are in no way disruptive.

The resolution would also set up a public education campaign to help inform everyone about the pilot program, its rules and responsibilities. LI-DOG and other dog owners have volunteered to help create, promote and participate in such a public education campaign.

If the resolution is approved, the pilot program would start January 1, 2020 and run for one year. The Director of the Dept. of Parks & Recreation with input from the Dept. of Planning & Environment are to report back to the Town Board by Nov. 30, 2020, with any recommendations on the pilot program. At that time adjustments can be made.

In 2017, Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone was quoted saying if the town’s dog-friendly park policy proved successful, the town would consider expanding it to other parks. Since that time, the policy has proven both popular and successful, with no reported incidents or issues.

“Northport Park…has demonstrated consistently that dog owners can be responsible and dogs can coexist in a park environment provided they are leashed at all times and waste is picked up…It’s worth at least a trial period,” wrote Loretta Milanese of Centerport in signing the petition. To read more great comments from people who have signed the petition, go to Quotes from Petition Signers 8-19.

Given the intense interest Huntington residents have demonstrated in being able to walk their leashed dogs in Heckscher Park, the steps that have been taken to address concerns, and the ability to adjust the pilot program as needed, LI-DOG is urging the Town Board to support the resolution to create a pilot program to allow leashed dogs in Heckscher Park.

“It’s time to let Huntington dog owners enjoy this wonderful public recreational resource just like every other Huntington resident,” said Munger Kahn.

What You Can Do:
Please let Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and the other members of the Huntington Town Board know that you support allowing leashed dogs in Heckscher Park and why you’re reaching out to them. The more calls and emails elected officials get, the more likely the resolution will pass! Please call or email the following elected officials NOW:

Hon. Chad A. Lupinacci, Supervisor
Town Hall (Room 200)
100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 351-3030
clupinacci@huntingtonny.gov

Hon. Joan Cergol, Councilwoman (please thank Councilwoman Cergol!)
Town Hall (Room 303)
100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 351-3173
JCergol@huntingtonny.gov

Hon. Mark Cuthbertson, Councilman
Town Hall (Room 303)
100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 351-3172
MCuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov

Hon. Edmund J.M. Smyth, Councilman
Town Hall (Room 303)
100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 351-3175
ESmyth@HuntingtonNY.gov

Hon. Eugene Cook, Councilman
Town Hall (Room 303)
100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 351-3174
ECook@HuntingtonNY.gov

The more calls and emails our elected officials get, the more likely they’ll approve the pilot program. Let your voice be heard!


.08/07/2019 – Gardiner Dog Park Now Open

 

Gardiner Dog Park Now Open! 

Suffolk County’s popular Gardiner Park in Bay Shore has a big new dog park. The dog park features large dog, small dog and an agility training area–a first for a Suffolk County park.  The dog park is the result of the efforts of New York State Sen. Phil Boyle and NYS Sen. Monica Martinez. To get the details including information on how to thank NYS Senators Boyle and Martinez, go to Gardiner Dog Park Now Open! 


08/07/2019 – Gardiner Dog Park Now Open!

 

Photo Credit: Jeanine Chang

Gardiner Dog Park Now Open!

Large New Dog Park Features Large Dog, Small Dog and Agility Training Areas

(Google Map)

 

Suffolk County’s popular Gardiner Park in Bay Shore has a big, new dog park!

The dog park, which is the result of the efforts of New York State Senator Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and NYS Senator Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood), covers 64,000 square feet or about one and a half acres. It features three sections: an 80′ x 300′ small dog area; a 120′ x 300′ large dog area and a 40′ x 100′ agility training area. The provision of an agility training area is a first for a Suffolk County dog park, noted Suffolk Parks Commissioner Phil Berdolt.

Each of the sections is completely enclosed by 4′ high, black vinyl-coated chain link fence and two watering stations have been installed. Plus, in an effort to provide shade during the summer and a more natural setting, many of the existing trees have been left in place, the Parks Commissioner noted.

The funds for the new dog park came from a $100,000 grant obtained by Sen. Boyle. “This is something I’ve thought about for a long time,” said the Senator whose family owns a toy Fox Terrier named Olivia. “It’s a beautiful park to begin with and I’ve gone to Gardiner often with my dog to walk her on-leash, but I always thought it would be a nice place for a dog run.” The west side of the Town of Islip has long needed an off-leash area, he added.

Senator Boyle worked with former Suffolk Legislator and now NYS Senator Monica Martinez on the project. Senator Martinez sponsored the resolution in the Suffolk County Legislature to accept the grant and authorize the dog park.

“We are thrilled that Suffolk County has built this beautiful new dog park for us and our dogs,” said LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn. “We’re extremely grateful to NYS Sen. Phil Boyle for getting the funding for the project and to NYS Sen. Martinez for making it happen.”

As is the case for all Suffolk County parks, on-leash dog walking will continue to be allowed throughout Gardiner Park. Some dog owners had been told that on-leash dog walking was at risk as a result of the new dog park. However, in a statement to LI-DOG, Commissioner Berdolt noted: “This is our most utilized park for patrons and their pets. We will continue to keep this park an on-leash friendly park.”

“I can’t speak highly enough of the job Suffolk County has done building the dog park,” added Sen. Boyle. “This will be a very special place and I can’t tell you how happy I am it’s finally coming to fruition.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Please let Sen. Boyle and Sen. Martinez know how much you appreciate their work to get a beautiful new dog park created in Gardiner Park. Email Sen. Boyle at: pboyle@nysenate.gov or call 631-665-2311; Email Sen. Martinez at Martinez@nysenate.gov or call 631-360-3356.

Please also let Suffolk Parks Commissioner Phil Berdolt know what a great job the Parks Dept. has done building yet another, big, beautiful dog park in Suffolk County! Email Commissioner Berdolt at scparks@suffolkcountyny.gov or call 631-854-4985.

Help make sure Gardiner Park works for all park patrons by keeping your dogs leashed unless you are in the dog park itself. Also, as always, please remember to clean up after your dog.

Thank you for your support!