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Fundraising efforts continue to establish town dog park

Date: 3/15/2013

By Carley Dangona

AGAWAM — The Agawam Dog Owners Group (ADOG) will conduct its next meeting on March 20 at 7:15 p.m. at the Agawam Public Library, located at 750 Cooper St.

Guest speaker Bill Couzelis, president of the East Longmeadow Bark Park, will discuss his experience creating a dog park.

Debbi Sanchez, vice chairperson for the ADOG Board of Directors, said, "He will bring his expertise and insight to share with our group."

She explained that ADOG wants to build a five-acre dog park at Shea Field that would be completed in two stages. She cited the existence of a paved parking lot at the site, which is adjacent to the Shea Field Skate Park, as a major benefit of the location.

"We're still in the fundraising phase," Sanchez stated. "We want to raise as much money as possible so that when it is time to start developing the park, we're ready to go." She added ADOG has raised $5,400 to date and is "still tabulating" the money raised from calendar sales, which will be added to the total.

"Due to its popularity, we've decided to have another Bronx Zoo bus trip fundraiser," she said, noting that King Ward President Dennis King donated the transportation services.

Sanchez added that Peter Wells of The Berkshire Design Group created "a beautifully ambitious design" for the park, pro bono. Sanchez explained that at this point the design is a conceptual rendering.

"We're in the midst of creating bylaws to solidify our group's unity," Sanchez said. She encouraged the public to attend and participate in the creation of the park, as volunteers are needed for the project. "It's a great opportunity for people who love their dogs to make new friends and to have new opportunities."

She continued, "Our dog park is just one other entity that helps make Agawam a community. We're definitely pleased with our progress."

Sanchez said that all future meeting of ADOG will be conducted on the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the library.

At the March meeting all attendees will receive a free paw-shaped magnet with the ADOG logo, according to Sanchez. For more information about ADOG, visit