Online survey: Bangor residents want dog park

Posted Nov. 22, 2009, at 7:44 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The preliminary consensus of a recent survey conducted by the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department is that the city has significant demand for a dog park.

Parks and Recreation Director Tracy Willette said last month’s online survey, which generated more than 500 responses, was done to see if any changes needed to be made to Bangor’s trail use policies.

Users who bring dogs on trails — sometimes without a leash — consistently have been a topic of discussion and concern for some. Willette said the survey results suggested that a dog park might help alleviate some concerns.

“I think if dog owners felt they had a specific place to go and take their dogs, it might help,” he said.

Some Bangor dog owners already have begun the process of exploring creation of a dog park. A group called Bangor Area Regional K-9s, or BARK, met for the first time last week to establish a steering committee. Joe Knox, who organized the group, said he hopes the group’s efforts will help convince the city’s parks and recreation advisory board that they are serious about a dog park.

Willette said the advisory board still has to assess all the responses from the user survey, but he compared the dog park discussion to a discussion several years ago to create a skateboard park. He said the parks and recreation board would happily meet with members of BARK.

“We have a lot of work to do yet, but we’re glad to have these discussions to improve what Bangor has to offer,” Willette said.

So far no locations have been suggested for any possible park.

Anyone interested in joining BARK can contact Knox at 745-8615.

In nearby Hampden, several residents recently have expressed interest in starting a dog park as well. Councilor Jean Lawlis is working to put a group together to explore the demand for a town dog park. The primary location being considered is behind the Kiwanis Hall, adjacent to the VFW Recreation Area.

Those interested can contact Lawlis at lawlistowncouncil@gmail.com or by calling 862-4080.

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