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Dog park design nearing finalization, bid

Date: 9/12/2014

AGAWAM – The design for the dog park is nearing completion, with the most comprehensive plans to date presented to the Planning Board at its last meeting.

Peter Wells, principal and landscape architect for Berkshire Design, shared the schematic plans for a 2.1-acre dog park with the board on Sept. 4. The park will be located adjacent to Shea Field and across from Robinson Park. To date, the groundbreaking has not been scheduled.
Several sources are funding the project. The Agawam Dog Owner’s Group (ADOG) contributed $10,000 from its fundraising efforts, $14,145 in Community Preservation Act funds was approved by the City Council and the Stanton Foundation awarded ADOG a $245,000 grant for the project.
“ADOG is extremely excited to see progress being made with regard to the development of the park,” Deborah Sanchez, ADOG president, said. “The grant from the Stanton Foundation has really propelled the realization an off leash recreational area for the Pioneer Valley.”
According to Wells, the project is anticipated to save $25,000 by having many elements purchased by the town, which would be reimbursed by the funding, and then installed by a private contractor. He explained to the board members that the cost would be significantly higher if a contractor purchased and installed all elements of the park.
During his presentation, Wells noted that extensive signage would surround the perimeter of the park and be placed within the property itself. The two separate areas, one for small dogs and another for large dogs, would be clearly signed as well as a “penalty box” for poorly behaving canines. At the entranceway, a sign listing the rules for the park would be mounted.
At request of the Planning Board, Wells said he would be willing to add signs that state “beware of baseballs” since Shea Field is in close proximity to the dog park.
Wells stated that a biodegradable mitt and bag distribution and a waste collection site would be located within the double-gated entrance of the park. He stated that both gates would be spring-loaded to prevent dogs from escaping the park without their owners. At this time, no lighting is planned in the design as Wells anticipated the park would close at dusk.
According to Wells, both the small and large dog areas will have its own washing and drinking station. A five-foot fence would surround the large dog section and a three-foot fence would encircle the small dog section. Many trees already exist within the site and would remain to provide shade, benches would be installed throughout the park in addition to an open pavilion dog shelter that could provide protection from the elements or host a special event.
Play elements including sand for digging, tires, boulders, ramps and hoops are also part of the design, with many of the materials donated to the park.
“I appreciate the amount of land that was donated by the town for the dog park. The fact that it is two acres will give both small and large dogs ample room to exercise and socialize. The plans include activity/exercise equipment that, I believe, the dogs will enjoy,” Sanchez said.
“ADOG has been great to work with,” Wells said, sharing his enthusiasm for the project. He added that ADOG promised to maintain a consistent presence at the park to ensure the safety of its guests and the cleanliness of its grounds.
The board approved the plans unanimously. Wells expected the project would go out for contractor bid within the coming month.
To learn more about ADOG, visit