Milford dog park closed until mid-April

DSC_0054MILFORD — Though the Mispillion Riverwalk Dog Park is firmly rooted in the hearts of Milford-area dog lovers the grass inside the park isn’t.
To help the grass grow, Milford Parks and Recreation Department officials closed the park a few weeks ago and don’t expect to open it until late April.

“The park has received a lot of use in a short period of time, and we found that the newly installed sod was taking a pounding due to a large amount of dogs in the park at one time combined with the sod not having enough time to establish a root system. The park was closed under advertisement from the sod installer to allow the grass to establish deeper roots, and allow it to take hold,” Brad Dennehy, City of Milford Parks and Recreation director, said.

Officials expect to unleash the park again in a few weeks.

“We are hoping to have both parks open by mid-April. We have raked up and removed all of the dead grass, and we will be applying fertilizer this coming week. Obviously once the fertilizer has been applied we want to water it in and let it take affect before we allow dogs back into the park,” Mr. Dennehy said.

The park is divided into two separate sections. One for large dogs and the other for small dogs. Each section has room to run and play, seating for dog owners and a special water fountain for human and canine patrons.

The dog-friendly facility is 200 feet by 200 feet.

The dog park is located at the end of Marshal Street at the Mispillion Riverwalk, near Goat Island.

“It’s been more popular than I think anyone anticipated, and it appears to be drawing not only local residents but people from out of town as well,” Mr. Dennehy said.

And Milford-area dog lovers are eager to use the park again.

“A day doesn’t go by at parks and rec. when someone isn’t calling inquiring wanting to know when the dog park will be opened back up. We realize it has been an inconvenience for a few folks and their dogs over winter, but Goat Island and the Riverwalk are always open for people to walk their dog on a leash,” said Mr. Dennehy.

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The Milford Dog Park has seen a lot of use since it opened last year.

The dog park opened last year and since then the city has been learning the best ways to run a canine coral.

“Already we have seen that you’re never going to stop some dogs from digging, so moving forward we are already looking at creating area which will we mulched inside of the dog park to allow those dogs to dig and scratch around. From experience we know that replacing mulch is a lot easier than replacing sod,” Mr. Dennehy said.

“I think the Milford Dog Park is just another way for Milford to show our commitment to healthy lifestyles and opening up additional recreational opportunities not only for our two-legged residents but also our four-legged residents as well,” said Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe during the park’s opening ceremony last year.

“We trust the public will understand that we are working to get the park back open as soon as possible,” Mr. Dennehy said.

Managing Editor Logan B. Anderson can be reached at landerson@newszap.com. Follow @LoganBAnderson on Twitter.

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