Dog-Friendly Parks


Dog Friendly Long Island Towns

Dog Friendly Northport VillageNewsday Article: Dog-friendly Long Island Destinations

Those in the know have long considered Northport, Greenport and Cherry Grove to be dog friendly towns.  Now, in a recent article, Newsday has officially recognized their status and describes places to eat, play and shop in each town.  Read the Newsday article.

 


04/09/2018 – Suffolk County Proclamation Honors LI-DOG President

 

Leg. Steve Stern and LI-DOG Prez Ginny Munger Kahn

Leg. Steve Stern and LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn

Suffolk County Proclamation Honors LI-DOG President for Work Helping to Create Dog-Friendly Park Policies

 

Suffolk County’s dog-friendly parks were celebrated December 19, 2017, when LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn was honored with a Proclamation from Suffolk County Legislator Steven Stern and his colleagues on the Suffolk County Legislature. The Proclamation thanks Ginny for her work helping to create dog parks and dog-friendly park policies in Suffolk County.

“By expanding access to and enjoyment of Suffolk County’s beautiful parks and open spaces, Ginny Munger Kahn has helped to materially improve the quality of life of thousands of current and future Suffolk County residents,” states the Proclamation. “In recognition of [that work], we the members of the Suffolk County Legislature do hereby honor Ginny Munger Kahn.” The proclamation is signed by all 18 Suffolk County legislators.

Since 1998, LI-DOG has worked with elected officials and Parks officials to create 10 dog parks on Long Island (seven in Suffolk County including an off-leash beach) plus dozens of on-leash dog walking trails.

Ozzie Huber Listens to the Presentation

Among the Suffolk County Dog Parks LI-DOG has helped create are:

– Blydenburgh Dog Park in Smithtown
– Cherry Avenue Dog Park in W. Sayville
– Mud Creek Off-Leash Beach in E. Patchogue
– Robinson Duck Farm Dog Park in Brookhaven
– West Hills Large Dog Park in Huntington

These dog parks are the result of legislation passed in 2007, which Leg. Stern sponsored and with whom LI-DOG worked closely, as well as LI-DOG’s work with other elected officials. Leg. Stern’s groundbreaking 2007 legislation directed the Suffolk Parks Commissioner to identify at least five parks where dog parks could be created.

“Today there are dozens of dog parks throughout Suffolk County that would not exist were it not for the precedent set by Steve’s legislation,” Ginny said in her remarks thanking Leg. Stern. “On behalf of Suffolk’s dog owners and their dogs, I want to thank Leg. Stern and let him know how grateful we are for the groundbreaking legislation he sponsored in 2007.”

Ginny also thanked former Legislators Lou D’Amaro, Kate Browning, Jon Cooper, John Kennedy and William Lindsay for their work to create dog parks in their communities.

“Dog parks may seem like a simple thing,” said Leg. Stern, “but if you’re a dog owner and you like spending time outdoors with your dog and other members of the community who share that love for being outdoors with our best friends, you know how important dog parks are. So with Ginny’s help and the help of so many who are active in LI-DOG, one of my first legislative initiatives was establishing the first dog parks in Suffolk County parks,” said Leg. Stern. “Today, these dog parks are thriving, they bring community members together and they have a great impact on our quality of life,” Leg. Stern noted.

Suffolk Leg. William Spencer with LI-DOG Prez Ginny Munger Kahn

Leg. William Spencer of Huntington Congratulates Ginny

As LI-DOG’s representative on the Huntington Greenway Trails Citizens Advisory Committee, Ginny more recently worked on the committee’s recommendation to adopt uniform park standards for leashed dogs in Huntington Town Parks. The recommendation was designed to align Town parks policy with Suffolk County, which allows leashed dogs throughout its 48,000-acre park system. In August 2017, the Huntington Town Board unanimously passed the resolution that opened virtually all Town parks to leashed dogs.

Ginny and LI-DOG continue to work with Suffolk legislators and the Suffolk Parks Dept. to make sure the County’s dog parks and the County’s dog-friendly park policies work well for park users.

Ginny also thanked her LI-DOG colleagues for their significant help in making Long Island parks more dog-friendly. “As is true with any accomplishment, I share this with my LI-DOG colleagues—Barbara Buscareno, Ed and Arlyne McMullin, and Pam Schmidlin who worked on the Suffolk dog parks plus my Nassau colleagues Christine Laubis, Peggy Heijmen, Marie Amsterdam, Joann Garguola and Liz Haban who have taken Suffolk’s success and expanded it into Nassau County. “These dog parks and dog-friendly park policies are great examples of local democracy in action,” said Ginny.

LI-DOG continues to work to increase access to public parks and beaches for Long Island dog owners and their dogs. Current campaigns are focused on Nassau County parks, Town of Hempstead parks, and beaches on Long Island.

The organization reaches thousands of Long Island dog owners every week through its website, emails, and Facebook and Meetup groups.


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

 

LI-DOG Pack Walk at Massapequa PreserveNassau County Executive Candidate Martins Expresses Commitment to Dog-Friendly Nassau County Parks! LI-DOG asked the two candidates for Nassau County Executive for statements on their position regarding on-leash dog walking in Nassau County parks. Former New York State Senator Jack Martins responded, writing “As a dog owner, I am committed to making sure we work with local communities to develop dog-friendly parks.” Nassau County Leg. Laura Curran did not respond to our request. To read Martins’ full statement and what you can still do to help get more access to Nassau County parks, go to Nassau County Exec Candidate Martins Commits to Dog-Friendly Parks.


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.

.08/23/2017 – Huntington Opens Most Town Parks to Leashed Dogs

 

Dix Hills Park 

Huntington Opens Most Town Parks to Leashed Dogs!

Unanimous Town Board Vote on Aug. 15th will allow people to walk their leashed dogs in dozens of local parks that were previously off-limits to dog owners. To read about the decision and get a link to a list of parks in Huntington, go to Huntington Opens Most Town Parks to Leashed Dogs!


08/23/2017 – Huntington Opens Most Parks to Leashed Dogs

Huntington Opens Most Town Parks to Leashed Dogs!

Action at Aug. 15th Town Board Meeting Allows On-Leash Dog Walking in Dozens of Parks Previously Off-Limits to Dog Owners

Dix Hills Park

Dix Hills Park; Photo Credit Irene Rabinowitz

The Huntington Town Board on Tues., Aug. 15th unanimously approved a change in the Town Code that will allow people to walk their leashed dogs in almost all Town parks! The change affects dozens of local parks ranging from the historic Village Green in Huntington Village to brand new Sweet Hollow Park in Melville. Among parks that were previously off-limits where people can now walk their dogs on-leash are Carpenter Farm Park in Greenlawn, the Centerport Park Trail in Centerport, Vets Park in E. Northport, and Jeffrey Wenig Park—a 94-acre passive park also known as Roundtree Park– in Melville. (To see a list of parks in the Town, go to the Huntington Trails Guide.

“We and our supporters are very excited about this change in Town policy,” LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn told The Times of Huntington. “Walking your dog on-leash in a beautiful public park is one of life’s great pleasures and we are grateful to Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone and the Town Board for making this a possibility for many more Town residents and their dogs.” LI-DOG’s post on Facebook about the Town’s big move got more than 200 likes within 48 hours. (See the post and comments at Huntington Town Board Approves On-Leash Access to Parks.

The code change, which was made upon the recommendation of the Huntington Greenway Trails Committee on which LI-DOG serves, replaces an initiative begun in June 2013, when the Town Board overturned a longstanding ban on dogs in local parks and approved the designation of on-leash dog walking trails based on recommendations from the Trails Committee. Five trails were designated under the initiative including trails in Dix Hills Park, the Jerome Ambro Preserve, Phragmites Park and Sunshine Acres Park. In making this latest recommendation, the Trails Committee noted that the initiative worked well and there were no issues with on-leash dogs on trails in public parks.

The Trails Committee recommended that the Town adopt uniform park standards in order to align its policies with those of Suffolk County. The County allows on-leash dogs throughout its park system including its parks in Huntington such as West Hills County Park. By adopting park standards in line with the County, the new town policy will make it easier for people to understand the policy towards dogs in local parks and will increase park and trail use, the Trails Committee said.

This latest change not only greatly expands the number of parks available for on-leash dog walking, but it also expands the areas within parks where people can walk their dogs. On-leash dog walking is no longer limited to individual trails, but rather is allowed throughout parks—with certain restrictions.

Specifically, the new law restricts dogs—both on-leash and off-leash–from playgrounds, athletic fields, picnic areas, town camp programs and town beaches. On-leash dogs are allowed on paved areas and boardwalks at town beaches. The rules also require 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 two main exceptions to the new policy are Heckscher Park in Huntington Village and Betty Allen Preserve in Centerport. LI-DOG and other speakers at the July public hearing on the code change urged the Town to allow on-leash dog walking in Heckscher Park. Access to Heckscher Park is the most common request LI-DOG gets from Huntington dog owners and allowing on-leash dogs would deter the geese who foul the lawns and paths in that park. However, Town officials expressed concerns about how busy the park is already. LI-DOG is optimistic that once this new policy is in place and has proven successful, we will be able to revisit this restriction with the Town.

In a July 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.)

It is very important that everyone abides by the new rules for the parks by keeping dogs on-leash and under control, by cleaning up after their dogs, and by keeping dogs off playgrounds, ball fields camp grounds, picnic areas and town beaches. The success of this program and our ability to expand access not only to Heckscher Park but also to town beaches depends on our ability to show that dog owners are responsible and respect other park users. We know our supporters “get it”, but please help us spread the word!

LI-DOG is excited about the change in Town policy. Not only will the change allow many more people and their dogs to enjoy Town parks, but increasing park use will makes our parks safer. In addition, providing access to parks will incent more people to get out and walk their dogs, which is good not only for dogs’ health, but for people’s health, too. Finally, we are optimistic that this change will set a great example for other Towns on Long Island that still ban dog owners and their dogs from public parks. (To read LI-DOG’s statement in support of the change in policy, go to Statement in Support of Local Law Adopting Uniform Park Standards for Leashed Dogs in Huntington Town Parks.)

Once again we want to thank our supporters who came to the July public hearing and sent emails to the Town Board in favor of this resolution. Town officials said they were pleased to see that the proposed change had gotten quite a bit of support.

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 for making this historic change possible for 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

The more emails elected officials get, the more likely they’ll expand dog-friendly policies in the future!

Thank you for your support!

 


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

 

Dix Hills ParkPublic Hearing on Proposal to Open Virtually All Huntington Parks to On-Leash Dog Walking Goes Well. Of the eight speakers at the hearing, six of them including LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn spoke in favor of the resolution. The Town Board Vote could come as soon as Tues., Aug. 15th! To read what supporters of the resolution said, get links to press coverage and find out what you can do to support the proposal, go to Huntington Hearing on Park Access Goes Well.

 


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!

 

 


.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!