May 23, 2018
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Parks survey focuses on pet owners’ use of city trails

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Parks and Recreation Department is looking for feedback on how to improve its public trails system, particularly as it relates to users who bring their canine friends along.

A 20-question online survey has been created to identify any concerns and areas for improvements. Parks and Recreation Director Tracy Willette said the department’s advisory board would use the results of the survey to make any needed changes.

“We’re trying to get a good picture of the folks who are using our trails and why,” Willette said. “With the increased use of trails throughout the city, there comes a point where we want to take a look at our policies to make sure we’re benefiting all our users.”

The Parks and Recreation Department manages several trail systems throughout Bangor, including: the Rolland Perry City Forest, Essex Woods, Prentiss Woods, Brown Woods and the Kenduskeag Stream trails.

One area of concern that has come up more often recently, Willette said, is interactions with pet owners. There is no city leash law for dogs, only a provision that pets must be kept under control. Many users want to bring their dogs along for walks on the trails, but other users are not always comfortable. In other cases, dogs don’t always get along with other dogs. The biggest concern is safety.

“It’s nothing unique to what we haven’t already heard,” Willette said. “But I would say there has been more steady communication from users to our department.”

The final two questions in the survey ask participants whether Bangor would benefit from having a specified dog park, although there are no plans to build or designate one at this time.

The survey was posted online late last week and will be available through the end of the month. Willette said he has been pleasantly surprised with response so far. Willette said the advisory board would hold a public hearing sometime in the future before any changes.

“We encourage anyone to participate,” he said. “It takes five minutes and we could really use the feedback.”

The survey can be found online at


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