For all of you who have been waiting on the edge of your seat for an update about last Thursday’s meet and greet the public, appologies for being a bit behind schedule with a report.
Just to remind all, this meeting was held to update and inform concerned individuals about what the Riverdogs propose for a section of the Old Frenchtown Field, which we have researched and found to be the only viable location for a dog park.
Our proposed lease agreement is still under review by the state and it must be accepted that on this level of government, nothing moves quickly.
The meeting was energetic, and productive. Hopefully the issues of safety, noise, sanitation and aesthetics were addressed with examples of government endorsement, (DEP / Green Acres), from many areas in NJ. (As well as the rest of the country).
Arising from the Board of Education were concerns about the hazard of vicious dogs accidentally escaping and attacking children.
While it’s our contention that fewer loose dogs will be seen once the park is created, another hazard, currently overlooked, will be largely abated.
Being a semi wild area, the Old Frenchtown Field hosts frequent visitations from deer, skunk, possum, raccoon, mice, rats, snakes, and so forth. The fecal gifts of these wild animals is harmless for the most part, maybe a bit messy when soccer balls roll through it, but it’s not unknown for deer to transmit E. Coli in their droppings. Also are the concerns of NJ Fish and Wildlife officials who now estimate the state population of coyotes to be close to double that of black bear at around 5000. They’ve been seen and heard as close as half way to Milford, and are known as extreme opportunists when it comes to food and can be nasty vermin.
As most dog owners can testify, most wild animals, (as well as postmen and meter readers), avoid areas which are frequented by dogs. If we place a dog park in this area, the wild life visits will be inevitably reduced.
The Board of Education, in response to the threat of our domestic companions playing in a regulated park in proximity to children, suggests instituting an indemnification waiver for parents consent to allow their kids to participate in PE and sports in the field. The proposal suggests that if any parent disallows their child from participating due to fear of dogs, then all the children in that class will be prevented from participating in activities in the field. In addition to this practice having no precedent, it’s radically different from earlier conversations with the school PE teacher, the Board of Ed. President and the school Principal.
What we would consider more appropriate is compromise by simply coordinating the dates and times of school athletics, and close the park.
Thanks to everyone who came out to ask questions, offer wisdom, or just lend support. Special thanks to Marisa Tiberi for the outstanding graphics, which served as an educational focal point throughout the evening! And again, if your receiving this email twice, also through our Riverdog website: www.frenchtownnjdogpark.org , eventually updates will only be sent out from the website and so don’t forget to go the site, subscribe, and important!- confirm your subscription!
and FYI, an interesting (and germane) study: