THOMASTON — Dogs scrambled through the double entrance to Thomaston’s new dog park, Saturday, Oct. 24 at noon, following the official ribbon-cutting ceremony. The play of those dogs within the estimated three-acre grass enclosure drove home the reality of fruition to a year-long project started by a group of canine lovers in need of a place to let the paws run free.
Prior to the collaboration of the dog-park committee, locals had been known to take their dogs to this area at the northwest corner of the cemetery on Dwight Street. Town manager Val Blastow, upon hearing of this destination, made a visit of his own, according to Peter Lammert.
Blastow came upon a series of makeshift steps leading from the corner of the drive to an area below the tree line. An implanted shovel provided help for getting down to a little open space known as the Jacobs Quarry Field.
According to Lambert, Blastow said: ‘“Somebody’s going to get hurt.” He turned to Jim Connon, public works director, and said, ‘Fix that.’”
That’s how the dirt road appeared.
What followed was a year of committee meetings, board meetings, proposals, bids, and fundraising for a project described by committee member Jane Farthing as a bare-bones operation that still awaits a proper parking lot.
“It’s been a real challenge and a real learning curve every step of the way,” she said of the project.
Lammert was tasked with getting the fence, receiving bids of various extremes. So he made some phone calls. He found a local family who gave them a “really really good dog park fence for a really really good price.”
The fence, which allows for separate areas for large dogs and small dogs, was installed in a week, according to Lammert.
That fence will still be standing long after the committee is gone, he said.
Two construction companies in town brought fill to the site. A $5,000 matching grant was received, followed by an anonymous donation. And many organizations shared their resources and support.
Along with romping inside the fence, pedestrians can also walk the exterior perimeter.
Once the parking area is finished, the plan is to keep the park open year-round. Snow fall amounts and how much the parking area can be improved before winter will determine whether this will be possible during the first year.
Reach Sarah Thompson at email@example.com.