With the New York Legislature back in session, LI-DOG is relaunching its campaign to get legislation passed that will allow dogs in all New York State parks. Right now, people with dogs are denied access to more than 14,000 acres of NYS public parks on Long Island, including all beaches. NYS Senator Monica Martinez and Assemblyman Steve Stern, sponsors of the legislation, have reiterated their commitment to getting their bills passed this year. We need YOUR help and time is of the essence! For more information about the campaign, go to Opening LI’s NYS Parks to People with Dogs Tops LI-DOG’s 2024 Agenda.
It was a hot and sunny day when Huntington Town Councilwoman Joan Cergol joined LI-DOG, other dog owners and their pups to celebrate the grand opening of a new dog water fountain donated by LI-DOG to Huntington’s Heckscher Park. The donation is part of an effort by LI-DOG to enhance the enjoyment of dog-friendly parks on Long Island by dog owners and their dogs. LI-DOG also made the donation in grateful acknowledgement of the Town of Huntington’s decision two years ago to allow on-leash dog walking in the town’s signature community park. To get details on the grand opening and LI-DOG’s donation, go to LI-DOG’s Dog Water Fountain Donation to Huntington’s Heckscher Park!
Legislation Remains Top Priority for Bills’ Sponsors
Please Continue to Share LI-DOG’s Petition to Lift the Dog Ban on NYS’s Long Island Beaches!
Unfortunately, the legislation introduced by NYS Senator Monica Martinez and Assemblyman Steve Stern allowing dogs in all New York State parks including beaches (with restrictions) did not succeed in the Legislative term ended in June. Apparently, it is not unusual for new legislation to be deferred to the next session. The legislation has been amended to address concerns that arose in their respective Parks Committees and we have been assured passing the bills continues to be a high priority for both Sen. Martinez and Assemb. Stern. Please continue to share our petition to Lift the Dog Ban on NYS’s LI Beaches with all your dog-loving NY friends and family! We’re confident with YOUR support and the support of Sen. Martinez and Assemb. Stern, we will lift the ban on dogs on New York State beaches on Long Island for good! For more information, read Legislation to Allow Dogs in NYS Parks On Hold.
The dog run at Belmont Lake State Park in Babylon has a new amenity–a bench donated by LI-DOG. LI-DOG made the donation, a first for the organization, through New York State’s Natural Heritage Trust, which allows individuals and organizations to donate to programs and projects that benefit NYS parks. The installation of the new bench was celebrated by dogs and their people at LI-DOG’s Pack Walk™ at Belmont Lake SP in May 2022. On the bench is a plaque that reads: For all the happy dogs and their people. Enjoy! LI-DOG. For more information about the bench and the dog run, check out LI-DOG Bench is In at Belmont Lake SP Dog Run!
A recent issue of AKC Family Dog magazine features an article on LI-DOG and the groundbreaking work it has done to lift anti-dog laws and open public parks on Long Island to dog owners and their dogs. Titled “Who Let the Dogs In?” the article notes when LI-DOG started in 2004, there were only a few small dog parks and very little on-leash access to public parks on LI. Today, dog owners have more than three dozen dog parks for off-leash play and thousands of acres of parkland where they can walk their dogs on-leash–“thanks to the efforts of a dedicated nonprofit called LI-DOG,” according to the magazine. The American Kennel Club’s Vice President for Government Relations says in the article, “LI-DOG’s outstanding accomplishments are a testament to what local dog owners can achieve when they work together.” For a link to the article and more information, go to LI-DOG Article in AKC Family Dog!
The Eisenhower Dog Park, which LI-DOG worked with Nassau County to get opened in 2012, has been renovated with artificial turf, new plantings, and a brightly painted butterfly bench. The dog park, which also features water fountains and a gazebo, was closed in Nov. 2021 so the renovation work could be done and was reopened with a ribbon cutting ceremony in May 2022. Local dog owners are pleased with the improvements. Check it out! For more information, go to Eisenhower Dog Park Renovated and Reopened!
Major milestone reached as New Yorker’s ask for change in longstanding policy that bans dogs on New York State’s Long Island beaches. As one former NYS Parks employee commented, “I know that a large majority of dog owners are responsible and should have access to our beautiful beaches on Long Island!” LI-DOG is optimistic the petition will result in a positive step forward by the NYS Office of Parks soon! For more information, go to LI-DOG Beach Petition Reaches 6,000 Signatures!
Lift the Dog Ban on New York’s Long Island Beaches! LI-DOG Launches Petition to Let People Bring Their Dogs to the Beach
Long Island is surrounded by hundreds of miles of beaches, but the New York State Office of Parks, which manages 14,000 acres of Long Island parks that have shoreline access, prohibits ALL access to NYS beaches on Long Island to people with dogs! Denying access to so much recreational space to dog owners who pay taxes that support this public parkland is not right. People with dogs have the right to enjoy public parks and beaches just like anyone else. Sign LI-DOG’s Petition to Lift the Dog Ban on New York’s LI beaches NOW! For details on the petition and LI-DOG’s efforts to gain access to beaches on LI, go to Lift the Dog Ban on NY’s LI Beaches!
LI-DOG President’s 2020 Report: Access to Public Parks and Beaches is a Basic Right and Need–Whether You Have a Dog or Not
The year 2020 has been a terrible year for many people, but there were positives as well, especially for dogs. More dogs found new homes, dog owners spent more time with their dogs, and dogs–and their people–got out more. 2020 also saw the realization of one of LI-DOG’s long-time goals–access to Huntington’s pretty Heckscher Park. This pandemic year when people sought refuge in outdoor parks drove home the lesson that access to public parks and beaches is a basic right and need. To read a slightly edited version of the president’s assessment of 2020, go to the LI-DOG President’s 2020 Report.
The Huntington Town Board voted unanimously on Nov. 19th to permanently allow on-leash dog walking in Huntington’s Heckscher Park. The vote came on a resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Joan Cergol who led the effort to allow on-leash dog walking in Huntington’s signature community park. It followed an almost year-long, successful pilot program in which on-leash dog walking gained broad support in the community. For more information on how it happened, go to Huntington Town Board Votes to Make Heckscher Park Permanently Dog Friendly!