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Setup of dog park continues as its details are finalized

Date: 12/6/2013

By Carley Dangona

WESTFIELD – The canine residents of Westfield may soon have a park to themselves, but not without the help of interested residents among the city.

The Westfield Dog Bark Friends met on Dec. 3 to discuss the progress of the dog friendly area at Arm Brook Dam on Lockhouse Road. The four-foot high fenced perimeter of the park is 545 feet long, with two, five-foot long single gates and one 12-foot long double drive gate. Setting up the park is the next step.

The group has already purchased and will install two doggie waste pickup stations within the coming weeks. The Friends are also researching the cost and placement of boulders to place along the flood line of the dam.

“Communication is priority,” Mariah Strattner, Friends treasurer said. An example of its importance is the fact that the Friends were informally told that they cannot call the area a dog park, but have never received any formal communication from the city as to why.

Of the seven members present, all agreed that more participants are needed to assist with the efforts. President Ed Phillips has been with the group since its inception three and a half years ago. At some point, he would like another person to step into the role.

At the next Park and Recreation Commission meeting on Dec. 16, the proposed rules for the dog friendly area will be considered, according to Dawn Sienkiewicz, a member of that committee.

For now, the Friends will continue its fundraising efforts. To date, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit has approximately $950 in its account. Upcoming events include a pasta dinner to take place in February of 2014, a Strut with Your Mutt parade in May of 2014 and a fall festival tentatively scheduled for October 2014.

To review the proposed rules for the park, visit To get the most current information about the Friends’ activities, visit

The next meeting of the Westfield Dog Bark Friends will take place on Jan. 7, 2014 at Dunkin’ Donuts, 127 N. Elm St.