Howls of approval

Town Council approves dog park for Roosevelt Forest


Chloe, a black labrador owned by John Rich, will soon have a dog park to play in. — Contributed photo

John Rich had reason to celebrate with some fine champagne on Monday night.

After 10 years, he knows that a dog park for the town in Roosevelt Forest is pretty much a reality. And that called for a celebratory beverage outside Town Hall.

“We had to step out of the building to celebrate,” said Rich, chairman of the Stratford Dog Park Subcommittee. “We had a bottle of champagne.”

The Town Council voted unanimously to approve the recommendation from the Roosevelt Forest Commission to place the dog park in the northern portion of town. The council also voted to appropriate $115,000 in capital improvement funds to clear the area, including tearing down the old ranger station.

The project must still get approvals from the Planning Commission and the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission.

The council voted to have the park named for Jared Levine, an animal lover and former EMT who died last year.

Dog park advocates waited for a long time to get to this point. Other locations considered included Longbrook Park, Boothe Park and Short Beach.

Once the council approved the dog park, many in the audience cheered in celebration. A few people even barked their approval.

For Rich, the park approval is the culmination of a promise he made to Chloe, the black Lab he adopted from the Stratford Animal Shelter 10 years ago.

“I promised her as a puppy that I’d get her a dog park. It took us 10 years, but we got it,” he said.

As for the champagne, Rich said he’d had it on ice for about six months. He and other dog park supporters sipped on the bubbly after leaving Town Council chambers.

“I think we gave the empty bottle to Paula Lockshier,” Rich said, speaking of a member of the Dog Park Action Committee.


About author
Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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