Phil Berdolt

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: or call 631-665-2311; Email Sen. Martinez at 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 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!

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 and

Thanks for your support!