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.
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.
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.