GLEN ROCK, NJ - The Glen Rock NJ Dog Park continues to aim for a spring groundbreaking, according to the non-profit group leaders, in spite of recent setbacks including the sudden death of its pro-bono contractor and not being able to apply for a grant.

"Our Founder was 15 years old when she initiated this discussion and 17 years old when the non-profit was formed," group representative Eileen Hillock said referring to her daughter Michelle in an email. "Now, three years later, the privately funded park is slated to break ground this Spring--all through hard work, perseverance, pro-bono professional contributions, and the generous support of hundreds of Glen Rockers."

Hillock indicated a recent setback for the group.

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"We were saddened by the unexpected death of our pro-bono contractor last fall and so appreciative when another contractor stepped in over the holidays to keep the momentum going," she said. "It's been a labor of love for all involved. After we break ground this spring, we plan to host a dedication ceremony to the 9/11 Search and Rescue dogs this fall." 

Located behind the Glen Rock Recycling Center, 390 Doremus Avenue, and leased from the Borough, the privately funded group released an update to the Borough Council last week, delivered by Councilman Mike O'Hagan. The Council has the full details of the three-phased Dog Park implementation plan, according to the update.

The group presented a detailed sustainability proposal to the Glen Rock Environmental Committee (GREC) in January, per the Committee's request. While they received positive feedback, the Dog Park was not chosen to apply for the $20,000 NJ Sustainability grant in 2017, 2018 or 2019.

The Dog Park proposal included several sustainability components, including solar panels, solar cell charging stations and methane digester, and according to member of the Dog Park group, they received "positive feedback" from their contacts at Sustainable NJ.

The Borough Council relies on the GREC to recommend which proposal will be presented for the Sustainable NJ grant annually.

O'Hagan, who delivered the update to the Council during its work session on Feb. 13, said as part of the group's non-profit mission, it sponsored "Dogs 101: Puppies to Adult Training and Wellness" by professional trainer Dorice Stancher of Canines Can Do and Dr. Dennis Sepulveda of Glen Rock Veterinary Wellness Center at the Glen Rock Library on Feb. 9. Link to article: 

Looking forward, along with Boy Scout dens and Girl Scout troops, the group is planning to coordinate a pet food drive for the Mahwah Center for Food Action (CFA), "as their previous provider has ceased thereby impacting families who use the CFA and have a pet at home to feed."