BANGOR, Maine — A group of residents that has been working with city officials to develop a dog park in Bangor has identified its preferred site and now awaits City Council approval to move forward.
Representatives from the Bangor Area Regional K-9s, or BARK, have been collaborating with the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department on the idea and recently settled on a piece of land off Dutton Street overlooking the Penobscot River.
Known as the “roundhouse property,” the city-owned parcel is large, flat and at least partially fenced in, Parks and Recreation Director Tracy Willette said. Among the other areas considered were: behind the Parks and Recreation building on Main Street, a space on Essex Street near the Bangor Police Athletic League building, and the former Naval Reserve property also off Essex Street.
“We looked at a number of properties; this was the best fit,” Willette said of the waterfront lot. “The citizen group has been patient and diligent throughout this process.”
The idea for a dog park in Bangor has come up before, but talks heated up last fall as the city was considering adopting leash ordinances for some park areas. Earlier this year, city councilors did approve a leash ordinance for Brown Woods, Cascade Park and about half of Roland Perry City Forest, which struck a balance between dog owners and users concerned about unruly canines.
City officials hope a dog park will further help dog owners and non-dog owners coexist but have been clear with BARK officials that the city cannot fund the park. Joe Knox, the group’s founder, has said he does not expect any financial contribution from the city outside of perhaps a donation of land. Knox could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Willette said the discussion of a dog park has many similarities with the creation of a skate park in Bangor several years ago. The key, he said, is having dedicated residents who will see the project through and maintain it once the park is up and running.