Latest News Archive


05/07/2018 – Dog Exclusion Zone at Mud Creek Off-Leash Beach

 

East West Fence Line; Photo Credit Alphonse Guardino

Dog-Exclusion Zone Created at Mud Creek–Long Island’s ONLY Official Off-Leash Beach

A long line of fencing that creates a dog-exclusion zone has gone up at Mud Creek County Park–Long Island’s ONLY official off-leash beach–in E. Patchogue. The fencing, which appeared on May 1st and runs approximately 530 feet, cuts the beachfront available to dog owners and their pups in half.

Mud Creek’s off-leash beach was created for dog owners in August 2009 as a result of the Five New Dog Parks bill passed unanimously by the Suffolk County Legislature in May 2007 and in response to Suffolk residents’ requests for safe places to exercise and socialize their dogs. At this time, Mud Creek is the only official Suffolk County off-leash beach. “To take away so much of this singular resource for dog owners and their pups without even consulting us is not fair,” said Ginny Munger Kahn, president of LI-DOG. “It would be like creating a soccer field for kids and then suddenly taking half away for adult recreation. Dog owners are upset,” she noted.

Satellite View of Mud Creek with Dog-Exclusion Zone; Photo Credit Alphonse Guardino

What You Can Do: Let local elected officials and Parks Dept. officials know what you think about creating a dog-exclusion zone on the ONLY off-leash beach on Long Island. (See contact information below.) To spread the word and increase our impact: Download the Mud Creek Petition and Mud Creek Petition Signature Form, sign the form, and share it with your dog-loving family and friends.

The fencing is the work of the Suffolk County Parks Dept. and Suffolk County Legislator Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue), who represents District 7, which covers Patchogue, Medford and Middle Island among other communities. In an email to a local dog owner who asked what was behind the new fencing, Leg. Calarco responded: “This was done as a way to meet the needs of some of the community members who are not dog people…and who no longer felt comfortable using this area. The fenced area is intended to give those local residents an area at the park they can utilize apart from the dog park.”

“Dog owners are willing to share park resources,” said LI-DOG’s President, “but this is the ONLY official off-leash beach in all of Suffolk County. By contrast, local residents who do not wish to come into contact with dogs have multiple, beautiful beaches available to them nearby and throughout Long Island,” she noted.

Leg. Calarco also discussed alleged complaints from neighbors about loose dogs leaving the park in an April 2016 Suffolk Legislature meeting. In a March 2016 Long Island Advance article, neighbors suggested a fence to close off the dog park from the road. However, the new fence does not prevent dogs from leaving the park, but instead cuts across the first half of the beach to create a dog-exclusion zone.

In addition to dividing the beachfront in half, the new dog-exclusion zone creates a new entry point for dog owners. The new gated entry is further north on Roe Ave and requires dog owners and their dogs to traverse all 530 feet of fence line and sand before being able to access the waterfront. Not only does the sand get quite hot during the summer, which is tough on animals’ paws, but broken glass has often been found in this large stretch of sand, thereby putting dog owners and their dogs at increased risk of injury.

The fencing poses additional risks and raises additional safety and enforcement issues. The fencing currently stops well short of the water, leaving an open beach with no obvious barrier to prevent dogs from entering the dog-exclusion zone. “How is my dog supposed to know where this invisible line in the sand is?” asked Bill Gillis, a local dog owner who frequents Mud Creek on a regular basis and wrote the Mud Creek petition. “Are we dog owners going to be ticketed and fined for letting our dogs do what this park was designed for—allowing our pups to run and swim off-leash?”

It would also be a bad idea to extend the fence line into the water. If a dog swam around or dug under the loose sand under the fence, dog owners would not be able to quickly rescue their pets raising the potential for serious harm to their dog.

Since 2009, local dog owners have worked voluntarily to clean up and maintain the beach at Mud Creek. The site formerly was used by the Town of Brookhaven to dump recycling and dredge waste. This waste material–glass and other trash–is regularly uncovered by wind and water action. Dog owners including LI-DOG have worked diligently over the years to organize clean ups and clean up the beach themselves. “Here we’ve done all these cleanups and now that the beach is nice, the results of our work have been taken away and turned over to those who were not involved in the beach’s transformation,” said Janie Dill, another dog owner who frequents Mud Creek. “We need a solution that takes into consideration dog owners’ care and concern for this park,” she said.

It’s time for dog owners to stand up and protect the off-leash beach at Mud Creek. Please call, email or write Leg. Calarco and let him know what you think about creating a dog-exclusion zone on the ONLY off-leash beach on Long Island. Ask Leg. Calarco to work with LI-DOG and local dog owners to come to solution that preserves the off-leash beach the County created at Mud Creek Park and that meets the needs of Suffolk dog owners for a safe, comfortable, and practical off-leash area.

Contact Information for Leg. Calarco:
Call: 631-854-1400
Email: Robert.Calarco@suffolkcountyny.gov
Write: Suffolk County Leg. Robert Calarco, 90 W. Main St., Suite 2N, Patchogue, NY 11772

Don’t forget to include your address, especially if you’re a resident of District 7, which includes Patchogue, Medford and Middle Island, or are a resident of Suffolk County. This is a beach for ALL Suffolk residents after all.

Remember: Calls are the easiest, but most powerful way to send a message! Please always be polite.

Contact Information for Suffolk Parks Dept:
Call: 631-854-4949
Email: scparks@suffolkcountyny.gov
Write: Suffolk Parks Dept., P.O. Box 144, W. Sayville, NY 11796

Want to Spread the Word and Boost Your Impact? Download the Mud Creek Petition and Mud Creek Petition Signature Form, sign the form and pass it around to your dog-loving friends and family. Once you’ve got a few pages of signatures, either meet us at a dog-friendly venue in Patchogue (we’ll set up times to gather petitions) or send the completed forms to:

LI-DOG
P.O. Box 1171
Huntington, NY 11743

Want to volunteer to help us gather signatures in District 7 specifically? Email us at news@lidog.org and we’ll put you in touch with our organization team!

To keep up-to-date on what’s happening at Mud Creek, check back here or the Mud Creek Dog Park Facebook Group.

Thank you for your help and support for the Mud Creek Off-Leash Beach!


11/03/2017 – Nassau County Exec Candidate Martins Commits to Dog Friendly Parks

Nassau County Executive Candidate Jack Martins Expresses Commitment to Dog-Friendly Nassau County Parks

 

LI-DOG Pack Walk at Massapequa Preserve

Recent LI-DOG Pack Walk at Massapequa Preserve Photo Credit: Joann Garguola

On Sept. 29, 2017, LI-DOG sent a letter  to the two major candidates for Nassau County Executive — former New York State Senator Jack Martins and Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran– asking for a statement of their position regarding on-leash dog walking in Nassau County parks.  LI-DOG has been working with elected officials since 2013 to change Nassau County’s policy so that people can legally walk leashed dogs in Nassau County parks. In April 2016 in response to LI-DOG’s efforts, Nassau County opened several parks to leashed dogs including Massapequa Preserve, Christopher Morley Park, and Mill Pond Park. To read why access to parks is critical for Nassau County dog owners, go to LI-DOG Candidate Statement Request Letter. 

Former NYS Sen. Jack Martins responded to our request with the following statement:

“As​ ​a​ ​dog​ ​owner,​ ​I​ ​am committed ​to​ ​making​ ​sure​ ​that​ ​we​ ​work​ ​with​ ​local​ ​communities​ ​to develop​ ​dog​ ​friendly​ ​parks​.​ ​It’s​ ​not​ ​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​every​ ​park,​ ​but​ ​where​ ​it’s​ ​appropriate we​ ​will​ ​work​ ​with​ ​local​ ​communities​ and the legislature ​to​ ​create​ ​dog​ ​runs​ in​ ​places​ ​that​ ​are​ ​appropriate​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​a dog​ ​and​ ​certainly​ ​that’s​ ​easy​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​do.​ ​We​ ​do​ ​have​ ​parks​ ​with​ ​dog​ ​runs​ ​now​ and​ ​we​ ​have​ ​to​ ​see​ ​where​ ​it​ would​ ​be​ ​appropriate​ to add more​ ​going​ ​forward​ .”

Nassau County Leg. Laura Curran declined to give a statement, despite several requests from LI-DOG.

What You Can Do Now!

Take this opportunity to let the candidates know how you feel about dog owner access to Nassau County parks! Email Candidate Martins at info@MartinsForNassau.com. Email Candidate Curran at Contact the Campaign.

Then, be sure to cast your vote for Nassau County Executive on Election Day–Tuesday, November 7th! 

 Thank you for your support.

08/04/2017 – Huntington Hearing on Park Access Goes Well

Dix Hills Park

Dix Hills Park Trail
Photo Credit: Irene Rabinowitz

July 11th Public Hearing on Proposal to Open Virtually All Huntington Parks to On-Leash Dog-Walking Goes Well

Town Board Vote May Come Tues., Aug. 15th

Please Continue to Show Your Support!

The Public Hearing on Tues., July 11th on a proposal to amend Huntington Town Code to allow on-leash dog walking in virtually all Town parks went very well. There were eight speakers at the public hearing including LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn and six of those speakers spoke in favor of the resolution. Dog owners also have sent emails to the Town Board in support of the resolution. Thank you to everyone who attended the public hearing, spoke in favor of the proposal, and has sent emails on this change in the Town Code that will benefit so many people and dogs! (Read all about the Town’s proposal at Huntington Proposes Opening Almost All Town Parks to On-Leash Dogs.)

In LI-DOG’s statement, we noted the proposed change will allow more people to enjoy the Town’s public parks. Not only is this an important quality of life issue, but increasing park use makes our parks safer. Providing more access to parks also incents more people to get out and walk their dogs, which is good not only for dogs’ health, but for people’s health, too. “Walking your dog in a beautiful park is one of life’s great pleasures,” said Ginny. “We are grateful to the Huntington Town Board and the Huntington Greenway Trails Committee (on which LI-DOG serves) for recommending this change that will benefit so many Huntington residents.” (To read LI-DOG’s statement, go to Support Local Law Adopting Uniform Park Standards for Leashed Dogs in Huntington Town Parks.)

Among other speakers in support of the change was Mike Kaplow, president of the Siberian Husky Club of Greater New York. Mike, who was accompanied at the meeting by his service dog Lola, urged the Town Board to pass this “canine-loving legacy legislation.” He noted that in his experience he has found the vast majority of both dogs and their human companions are well behaved and responsible and he invited any naysayers to join him and Lola for a walk in the park including an LI-DOG Pack Walk. “You will see some of the best behaved dogs and most responsible human companions on our Island,” he said. (To read Mike Kaplow’s statement, go to Huntington’s Expansion of Dog Walking Areas.)

The main exception to the proposed new policy is Heckscher Park in Huntington Village. Supporters of the Town Code change including LI-DOG urged the Town Board in the future to lift the restriction on leashed dogs in Heckscher Park. ”Access to Heckscher Park is the most common request we get from Huntington dog owners and we believe Heckscher would benefit greatly from the presence of leashed dogs in terms of deterring the geese that foul the lawns and paths there, “said Ginny. “We are hopeful that once this new policy is in place and has proved successful, we can revisit this issue with the Town.”

In an interview with The Long Islander, Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said the Town would be monitoring the parks closely to make sure people are cleaning up after their dogs and keeping their dogs on-leash. If the policy change is successful, he said, town officials will consider expanding the policy to more areas in the future. (Read The Long Islander article Canine-Loving Change Mulled by Board.)

Newsday has also covered the story including LI-DOG’s support for the proposed change. Read the Newsday story Have a Dog and a Leash? Huntington May Open More Parks for Use.

LI-DOG is excited about the proposed change in the Town Code. Not only does the proposed change benefit many dog owners and their dogs, but it sets a great precedent for other Towns on Long Island that still ban dog owners and their dogs from public parks.

If you haven’t already done so, and you’re a Huntington resident, please email or call Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone—the sponsor of this resolution—and Huntington Town Board members to thank them and let them know what this means to you and your dog! Don’t forget to cc: lidog_news@yahoo.com so we can see your emails, too.

Supervisor Frank Petrone, email fpetrone@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3030

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, email mcuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3172

Councilwoman Susan Berland, email sberland@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3173

Councilman Eugene Cook, email ecook@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3174

Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, email tedwards@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3175

Make sure to send a copy of your email to Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia at jraia@HuntingtonNY.gov, so that your message is entered into the public record in support of the resolution.

As soon as we find out when the Town Board will vote on this important resolution we will let everyone know.

Thank you for your support!

 

 


07/05/2017 – Huntington Proposes Opening Almost All Town Parks to On-Leash Dogs

Huntington Proposes Opening Almost All Town Parks to On-Leash Dog Walking!

Public Hearing Set for Tues., July 11th at 2 p.m. at Town Hall

Please Come Show Your Support!

Dix Hills Park

Dix Hills Park Trail in Huntington Photo Credit: Irene Rabinowitz

The Huntington Town Board will hold a public hearing on Tues., July 11th at 2 p.m. at Town Hall on a resolution to amend Town Code to allow on-leash dog walking in virtually all Town parks. Huntington owns parks covering several hundred acres of public land ranging from the historic Village Green in Huntington Village to newly opened Sweet Hollow Park in Melville. (For a complete list of parks in the Town of Huntington, get the Huntington Trails Guide.)

Specifically, the resolution amends Town Code by eliminating wording that prohibits dogs in most town parks and instead adopts uniform park standards with the following words: The Town Board has approved on-leash walking of dogs in town parks and trails. The resolution also requires that dogs be on leashes no longer than 6-feet in length and that dog waste be immediately picked up and disposed of properly.

The main exception to the proposed new policy is Heckscher Park in Huntington Village. LI-DOG has strongly recommended that on-leash dogs be permitted in Heckscher Park. Access to Heckscher Park is the most common request we hear from Huntington dogs owners and allowing on-leash dogs in the park would deter the geese who foul the lawns and paths in that park. However, Town officials have expressed concerns about potential conflicts at the park, especially during the day when the park is busy. LI-DOG is optimistic that once the new policy has been put in place and been successful, we can ask the Town to revisit this restriction.

LI-DOG is excited about the proposed change in the Town Code and supports the Town Board resolution. Opening virtually all the Town’s parks to on-leash dog walking will benefit tens of thousands of town residents and their dogs! Moreover, the change in policy will serve as a positive example to other Towns on Long Island that still ban dogs from public parks.

In introducing the resolution, the Town Board notes that adopting uniform standards for leashed dogs in town parks supports Huntington’s goal to be more dog-friendly “by allowing more Huntington residents to enjoy public parks with their canine companions.” The Town also notes that allowing more people with dogs into public parks promotes public safety by having more “eyes” on the parks.

The proposed Town Code change is the result of recommendations made by the Huntington Greenway Trails Committee on which LI-DOG serves. Currently, trails on which leashed dogs are allowed are recommended by the Committee on an individual park or trail basis. The process is the result of an initiative approved by the Town in June 2013. (To read about the initiative, go to Town Board Approves On-Leash Dog Walking in Designated Huntington Parks.)

In making its recommendation, the Trails Committee noted that 2013 initiative has worked well and that there have been no issues to date with on-leash dogs on trails in public parks. In lieu of individual site designations, the Committee noted that the adoption of uniform park standards will make it easier for people to understand the policy towards dogs in town parks and will help increase park and trail use. In addition, the Committee noted, the Town owns almost a dozen parks in conjunction with Suffolk County and those partnerships are likely to continue to grow. County policy, which takes precedence in these parks, allows leashed dogs in its parks and adopting uniform standards will align Town policies with the County.

Besides the exception of Heckscher Park, the resolution also restricts on-leash and off-leash dogs from: Betty Allen Nature Preserve, all playgrounds, picnic areas, active recreation areas like sports fields, town camp programs and town beaches. Significantly, on-leash dogs are permitted on paved areas and boardwalks at town beaches.

Again, LI-DOG is optimistic that once uniform park standards are adopted and the program proves successful, we will be able to ask the town to revisit the restrictions on Heckscher Park as well as access to beaches.

LI-DOG is asking dog owners to join us in support of this resolution that significantly expands access to parks in the Town of Huntington!

Join LI-DOG at the Public Hearing at the Town Board Meeting on Tues., July 11th at 2 p.m. While we view this resolution as a great benefit to town residents, there are always a few critics who will oppose the resolution. Come to the Town Board meeting on July 11th and show your support for access to parks!

If you can’t come to the Public Hearing, email or call Huntington Town Board members and let them know you support Local Law Introductory Number 31-2017 that will allow on-leash dogs in Town parks. Don’t forget to cc: lidog_news@yahoo.com so we can see your emails, too!

  • Supervisor Frank Petrone, email fpetrone@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3030
  • Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, email mcuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3172
  • Councilwoman Susan Berland, email sberland@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3173
  • Councilman Eugene Cook, email ecook@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3174
  • Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, email tedwards@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3175
  • Make sure to send a copy of your email to Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia at jraia@HuntingtonNY.gov, so that your message is entered into the public record in support of the resolution.

The more emails the Town Board gets supporting their resolution, the more likely it will pass!

This is a great step forward for Huntington dog owners! Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

 


01/23-2017 – 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

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. 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!

 


11/08/2016 – LI-DOG Thanks Nassau County Exec

 

LI-DOG Thanks County Executive Ed Mangano for

Opening First Nassau County Parks to Leashed Dogs

 

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

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

On Sat., Oct. 29th at Barkfest 2016, LI-DOG presented Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano with a Certificate of Thanks for opening Nassau County parks to leashed dogs for the first time. Until April of this year, almost all 6,000 acres of Nassau County parks were off-limits to dog owners and their dogs.The County Executive made a commitment to LI-DOG in Oct. 2013 to increase access to Nassau County parks and beaches and we want to thank the County Executive for making it happen! (Read the news story at Nassau County Opens Four New Trails to Leashed Dogs!)

The parks and/or trails where people can now walk their leashed dogs are: Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn, Silver Lake Park in Baldwin, Massapequa Preserve (the Fire Rd. Trail) in Massapequa, Mill Pond Park in Bellmore/Wantagh, and Park Blvd. East in Eisenhower Park, E. Meadow. To see the full list of dog-friendly parks plus maps, go to On-Leash Dog Walking Parks and Trails.

Please note: We are working with the Nassau Parks Dept. and the Office of the County Executive to get the No Dogs Allowed signs in several of these parks replaced. Please be assured that you can walk your dog on-leash on these trails in these parks despite the outdated signs.

Let the County Executive know how much you appreciate being able to walk your dog in Nassau County parks! Go to Nassau Now online or call  516-MANGANO. Sending emails and calling to show support will help us get MORE access to parks and beaches in the future.

 

 


10/02/2016 – Barkin’ Brunch with LI-DOG at The Refuge

Thanks for Joining Us for Our First Barkin’ Brunch

with LI-DOG at The Refuge!

Two Min Pins with Mimosa at brunch

Two Guests at Barkin’ Brunch with LI-DOG at The Refuge

Thanks to everyone and their pups for joining us for our first—and certainly not our last—Barkin’ Brunch with LI-DOG at The Refuge in Melville. Even though the weather was cool and cloudy, we had a great time!

Thank you, JoAnn Winkhart and Tony Greco of The Refuge, for supporting LI-DOG by contributing raffle prizes as well as welcoming us on the restaurant’s big outdoor patio with its brightly colored tables and umbrellas. The brunch and the drinks were terrific.

A big thank you to our colleagues Irene Rabinowitz, Donna Lowe and Joann Garguola for doing a great job organizing the event  and making sure everyone, including the dogs, had a good time despite the weather. Check out the photos on the LI-DOG Meetup and LI-DOG Facebook Groups.

And, a special word of thanks to LI-DOG member Daniella Scala of A Phone Call Away in Valley Stream.  A lot of dogs and people had new toys and yummy treats to take home from the brunch because of the awesome job Danielle did gathering raffle baskets for our guests!

Check out all the people and businesses who helped make our Barkin’ Brunch a success!

BMT Acupuncture, Baldwin Harbor
Genovese Pizzeria, North Valley Stream
JoAnn Winkhart, The Refuge, Melville
Just Clown Around Children’s Entertainment, Franklin Square
Karen Rossitti, Starbucks
Lillian Russo, Avon, Valley Stream
Lindsay Licata, Lindsay’s Pet Care Services, Massapequa
Little Enrico’s Pizzeria, Franklin Square
Maribeth Cinelli, Keep Collective, Franklin Square
Melissa Watson, Initials Inc., E. Rockaway
Michael Tubolino, Reliable Grooming, Howard Beach
Nicole Bite, Crafts of Dreamers, Franklin Square
Prince Umberto’s Pizza, Franklin Square
Sandy’s Party Supply, Franklin Square
Starving Artist Café and Gallery, Franklin Square
Thanks to everyone who came to the first Barkin’ Brunch with LI-DOG at The Refuge.  Next time, we hope the weather will be better!