YORK, Maine — Representatives of a local group and town officials recently started working together to explore creating a dog park in York.
Kelly Krohn, the chairperson of Friends of York Dog Park, and some of her colleagues recently met with York Parks and Recreation Director Robin Cogger, York Police Lt. Owen Davis and other town officials to start the discussion of establishing a place where the community’s four-legged friends can gather and play.
According to Cogger, the meeting came about after Krohn addressed the York Board of Selectmen about the idea and Town Manager Steve Burns directed Cogger and Davis to explore possibilities.
For Krohn, who has two border collies, Willow and Flynn, the recent progress is welcome after a few years of trying to get the project off the ground.
“Just getting the OK from the town was huge,” Krohn said.
In a recent interview, Cogger described the project as in its early stages, with still most issues – such as location and expenses – yet to be decided and determined.
“We are working to explore options for a dog park in York,” Cogger said.
The group was scheduled to hold a second meeting this past Wednesday, according to Krohn.
In a separate interview, Krohn said the hope is to find a spot for the park that is not buildable and will not affect taxpayers.
“Now it’s about finding the right spot and taking it back to the town and saying, ‘What do you think?’,” Krohn said.
Both Cogger and Krohn said that a fence to enclose the park is likely to prove the most considerable expense.
According to Cogger, research showed that dog parks in other communities often started as an initiative that citizens started and saw through to the project’s completion.
“That’s the option we’re trying to model,” Cogger said.
According to Krohn, Friends of York Dog Park started four years when two local teenagers began to explore the idea of a dog park for a project at school. Krohn said the idea quieted down after some time, but she started advocating for a dog park last year. Friends of York Dog Park has a Facebook page and in the past year it has gone from roughly 100 “likes” to nearly 400.
Since York currently does not have a dog park, Krohn said she takes Willow and Flynn to the one in Ogunquit. She described the park there as a great spot for dogs and a place where friends are made.
Krohn noted all the dogs that are registered in York would benefit from a park of their own — and she added that out-of-town canines could pay a visit there too.
“This isn’t just for the townspeople,” she said. “Most hotels in York are pet-friendly.”
Krohn said that Friends of York Dog Park are currently working through Bangor Savings Bank to establish the group as a nonprofit organization — a move that will allow fundraising. Krohn added that a website for Friends of York Dog Park is currently under construction and will be a place to which supporters can go to donate online.
“I believe (a dog park) will benefit the town so much,” Krohn said. “It’s to benefit everybody. It’s so good for (the dogs).”