Potsdam woman works to form Potsdam Community Dog Park Committee
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 8:50 am

POTSDAM -- A Potsdam woman is leading an effort to form a Potsdam Community Dog Park Committee that would meet periodically to discuss fundraising ideas, seek business donations and volunteer time.

Deborah Massell says she is seeking individuals to join the committee to discuss progress of the park, line up volunteers to assist with the park cleanup and provide park maintenance once it is completed.

“The group might meet once in a while, perhaps once a month now that things are really moving, as we've done in the past, to dream up fundraising ideas, talk to people and businesses and get them to donate, participate in festivals to "man" the dog park table/booth,” Massell said in an email.

Work has already begun to create a fun space for dogs and their owners. The three-acre lot, at 17 Madrid Ave. behind the PHS building, has been surveyed by Louis Maine of Potsdam, who donated his services to the project. Professional design work was donated by Jeff Hodgson of WagnerHodgson, landscape designers from Burlington, Vt.

The Potsdam Community Dog Park, an extension of the Potsdam Humane Society, will be a safe, fenced area where dogs and their owners can enjoy walking through the woods and meet friends.

The dog park will offer an enclosed space for off-leash exercise and supervised play without fear of dogs getting lost, hit by cars or chasing bicycles. This will be a place for new and experienced dog owners to meet, socialize and foster responsible pet ownership. It could also be the site for dog-related events and activities like obedience classes, competitions and agility training.

In addition, the park’s various areas will provide a place for the Potsdam Humane Society staff to train, exercise and socialize the dogs in their care at the shelter. Having more people coming to the PHS property to enjoy the dog park may increase the number of adoptions of the animals in the shelter waiting for homes.

Ultimately, the park will include several walking trails, clean water for the dogs, pet waste cleanup stands, benches, a gazebo, and a separate fenced area for small dogs. Future considerations are an agility course and even a water feature.

Those interested can stay on the committee for as long as they wish with no long-term obligations.

Massell is also seeking volunteers who will gather up garbage bags in the park and replace them with clean ones. This task would be about once a week and volunteers could have the same day every week. Volunteers would go either at dusk or dawn so there are fresh bags in all the waste receptacles at the start of each day.

Maintenance helpers are being sought for once a month in winter and possibly once every two weeks in summer. The work would include checking the fence, spreading woodchips on trails, pick up poop with shovels, mow and more.

The deadline is Thursday, June 12 so Massell can submit the business plan to the Potsdam Humane Society Board and allow them to read it before the next meeting planned for Tuesday, June 17.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Deborah at masseldp@potsdam.edu.