Dog park in Bangor still work in progress

Posted Aug. 14, 2010, at 1:04 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Now that the City Council has approved the site for a dog park, the citizens group behind the idea has the tough task of raising money to support it.

Councilors on Monday unanimously supported donating municipal space at the end of Dutton Street behind Hollywood Slots for use by canines and their owners.

“It’s a great site for a dog park,” said Joe Knox, founder of the group Bangor Area Regional K-9s. “It’s much larger than a lot of the other sites that were considered. Plus, it’s close to downtown and a lot of the other waterfront attractions. We couldn’t be happier with the way the whole process has gone so far.”

The city has agreed to donate use of the space but will retain it as an option for development in the future. 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.

The parcel off Dutton Street is flat and expansive, but it needs a significant amount of work to transform into a dog park.

Knox said he’s comfortable that there will be plenty of volunteers willing to do the work necessary, but BARK is launching a fundraising campaign to pay for fencing, lighting and landscaping. More volunteers are always welcome, he said.

“Great dog parks have a strong commitment from park users to make it work,” Knox said. “The funds we raise will not only go towards construction, but to an educational effort to make sure people know if a dog park is right for their dog. Responsible dog ownership will be key.”

Knox said he and others are still discussing ideas for fundraising events, but in the meantime donations can be made directly to the city of Bangor, which has set up a special account for dog park funds.

Volunteers can contact BARK through its Facebook page or by e-mailing Knox at me_guide2003@yahoo.com.

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