New Suffolk Parks Commissioner Approved in Oct. 2016
New Commish Supports Continued On-Leash Access to County Parks
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your support!