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The Buck a Bone program at the Beach & Recreation Department offices at town campus allows people to make a donation to the Madison dog park project. In return, donors can personalize a paper bone with their dog’s name and post it on the wall. It’s one of three ways to help support the project financially. Volunteers are sought as well. (Photo by Pem McNerney/The Source | Buy This Photo)
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Efforts to bring an official dog park to Bauer Park, in the works for several years, have stalled out. To get it back in gear, town officials are looking for both volunteers and donations.
“We’ve got a location. But we have to map it out and flag it and get a new cost estimate because we have a new location” at Bauer Park, Madison Beach & Recreation Department Director Scot Erskine said. “We’d like to start driving this effort a little bit more, but we have to have a group to spearhead it and help organize. People interested in the project have come and gone.”
Erskine said the members of the Bauer Park Advisory Committee are interested in having the work go forward but really need the help of an active volunteer group to get everything done.
Erskine said the best way for people to volunteer is to contact Bauer Park Advisory Committee Chair Theodore Rahmann by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
People can donate money by writing checks to Town of Madison, Beach & Recreation, 8 Campus Drive, Madison, CT 06443. Put “Bark Park” in the memo line.
Another way to donate money is to visit the Beach & Recreation Department at town campus, 8 Campus Drive, and donate in person through the “Buck a Bone” campaign.
“Constructing a dog park without using any tax dollars isn’t easy,” the Buck a Bone sign states. “The Bauer Park Advisory Committee along with the Beach & Recreation Dept. are raising funds to establish a dog park at the Bauer Park and possibly a second one at Rockland Preserve.”
Those who donate a dollar or more get a paper bone that can be personalized with a dog’s name, and then posted on the wall at the Beach & Rec office.
Donating online is possible, too, by visiting madisonct.org. From the home page, click on the “Beaches & Parks” icon, then click on the “Online Registration” link on the left hand side of the page. On that page, go to the “Quick Links” tab on the right hand side of the page, select “Dog Park” and donate the desired amount.
The fundraising goal, according to a flier handed out to dog owners during dog registration this year, is $29,700. Of that, about $4,000 has been raised so far. The flier also outlines the many benefits of having a dog park, including providing an opportunity for dogs to socialize and an opportunity for people in the community to meet.
A dog park also encourages dog owners to properly register their dogs with the town, which requires a rabies vaccination, because only dogs that are registered are supposed to use the park. It also says “enclosed areas prevent off-leash dogs from running loose and infringing on the rights of others, such as children, or those fearful of dogs.”
A Bauer Park flyer from summer 2011 announced the news of a group of Madison dog lovers talking about the possibility of a dog park. The same edition asked in another article, “Has Bauer Park Gone to the Dogs?” noting that “contrary to Town of Madison ordinances that state all dogs are to be on leash,” there were many dogs owners who let their dogs run free in the park, creating problems in the community gardens and other parts of the park.
“Dogs can’t read the signs; only people can. Please don’t spoil the experience for others by your own desire to let your pet run free,” the article said.
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