Government

"Paws Park" to Remain Open For Now At Current Bernards Township Location

9bd544c96f09bce8f909_dogparkdogs.jpg
Some of the users of "Paws Park," either canine or human, either showed up or were represented at the Tuesday night Bernards Township Committee meeting, where the topic of whether to close, relocate or build a new entrance to the municipal dog run was discussed. No decision was reached, and the issue is due to be raised again in two weeks. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
512793ff167be548f293_PawsParksign.jpg
A sign by "Paws Park," a local dog run owned by Bernards Township on parks and recreation department. The entrance is reached through the Board of Education's Varsity Field complex. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
9bd544c96f09bce8f909_dogparkdogs.jpg

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - The Bernards Township Committee on Tuesday night discussed _ but delayed making a decision _ whether to close, relocate or build a new entrance to the "Paws Park" dog run off South Maple Avenue that is located at township property, but which has its entrance through the school district's Varsity Field complex. 

With two members of the Township Committee absent, and after hearing differing views presented by the other two committee members present, Deputy Mayor John Malay told the audience, "I don't think we want to make a decision tonight." Township officials said the issue will be rescheduled for the next Township Committee meeting, set to begin at 8 p.m. on Aug. 26. 

Following impassioned pleas frorm at least six residents of the audience about how important the dog park is for both the canine and human members of their families, Malay added, "We can probably promise that the park will not be closed until an alternative is in place." Residents said the dog run is used at all times of the year, in all weather conditions. Several of the speakers also said that dog owners would likely be willing to pitch in to help solve some of the complaints about dog excrement and other issues.

Sign Up for E-News

According to the agenda for the Aug. 12 meeting, the school district's concerns about dogs entering Paws Park through the school field complex behind the township Community Center off South Maple Avenue include the presence of dog excrement on playing fields; pathways and practice areas; the proximity of waste receptacles that produce smells and attract insects; and the possibility of dangerous interactions between student athletes, the fans in the areas, and the dogs. 

Among the alternatives discussed is moving the dog park to township-owned property behind Dewy Meadow Village off King George Road; building a new entrance to South Maple Avenue that would involve crossing state-protected wetlands property; or asking Somerset County to build a dog park in the northern part of the county.

The Board of Education already has banned canines from school property, according to a link on the agenda and comments at Tuesday's meeting.

Township Committeewoman Carolyn Gaziano suggested that, for now, residents who want to use the park with their dogs walk across the township's War Memorial Field, further south on South Maple Avenue, in order to reach "Paws Park." 

"If you're going there to walk your dog, you can't be wearing Tory Burch [designer] shoes," she noted.

The entrance to the park, named Paws Park in 2005, is via a path that runs alongside a playing field owned by the school district. Township Administrator Bruce McArthur said the Board of Education had been patient in seeking a solution the issue, and had been arranging to clean up after the dogs, or asking the township for help in cleaning up.

However, some supporters of the park pointed out that dog owners also pay taxes that support the schools, and they would like a share of local tax money for something that's important to them.

"What a benefit it is to have a dog park," said Jeff Dixon, who said she has been walking a new puppy there.

Many of the speakers said they also made close friendships while bringing their dogs to "Paws Park." 

"I met all of these people at the dog park," said resident Jamie Casale. 

The dog owners include residential who are single, or who may have no children in their homes, and still are paying school taxes, she noted. She said it is fair for those who pay high taxes to support local schools have at least part of the money spent for the dog park.

Caroline Ward, who lives in the northern section of the township, said she watched as her dog "blossomed" at the park, the only place in the area where she said her pet can run around off the leash.

"To lose that would be heartbreaking," Ward added.

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Basking Ridge

Somerset County Residents May Drive Through and Drop Off Unwanted Medicines March 17 in Basking Ridge

February 22, 2018

 

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – The first "Rx Mission Drive-in/Drop-Off"  will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the Bernards Township Public Works Garage, 277 S. Maple Ave, Basking Ridge. This drop off will allow all Somerset County residents to safely dispose of unwanted or outdated prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

The Rx Mission ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

February 23, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Fri, February 23, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art , Bedminster,

Dan Bischoff: Critic As Artist

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, February 23, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Keepers of the Chroma: An Exhibition Regarding ...

Arts & Entertainment

Somerset County High School Democrats to Participate in National March for Our Lives Against Gun Violence

February 23, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County High School Democrats will have members participating in the National School Walkout March 14 and the national March for Our Lives March 24 in Washington D.C., in support of the national movement generated by the survivors of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, according to a release.

The organization has called on county, state and federal ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c