New Milford dog park celebrates 10 years
NEW MILFORD — It’s been a decade since local canines got a designated place to play in New Milford.
New Milford’s Candlewoof dog park on Pickett District Road will mark its 10th anniversary on Aug. 10.
A celebration may take place later this year, depending on health and safety measures related to the pandemic, according to dog park president Brian McDonald.
Resident Suzanne Foran has been a visitor of the park for five years and is grateful for its presence in town.
“The space is well maintained,” she said. “And the dogs’ owners are very thoughtful and very cognizant and pay attention to their animals.”
Her Wheaton terrier, Lemmy, met his canine best friend, Molly, at the park when he was four months old.
“And they’re still friends. They roll around and have a wonderful time,” she said.
Molly’s owner, Susan Denino, of New Milford, said her dog loves going to the park to play, especially when Lemmy is there.
“They wrestle and tumblesault in the little dog area and lick one another,” Denino said. “They’re just hilarious.”
Deborra Andersen, of New Milford, takes her 3-year-old goldendoodle to the park because walks weren’t providing enough exercise.
“Taking (Rufus) for walks wasn’t doing it,” she said. “He needs interaction.”
Andersen said the park affords Rufus exactly what he needs: Space to run around and an opportunity to socialize with other dogs.
The park is also a place for canine owners to gather and get to know one another.
“I like the whole idea that the dogs have a place to run freely, off leash, and I think it’s also an interesting place for their owners to go and socialize with each other,” said Fran Terry, who was part of the group of individuals who got the park idea off the ground.
Foran agreed, saying, “I’ve met a lot of really nice people there.”
Benches, many of which have been donated in memory of loved ones, are scattered around the park for dog owners to use as their canine friends play.
Visitors of the park describe the nearly one-acre, fenced-in park as well maintained and as having a “good atmosphere.”
The park is run by a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization and has two areas — one large area for bigger dogs and a smaller section for little canines.
“We kind of keep it pretty simple,” McDonald said.
McDonald, who has been president for three years, has been involved with the dog park since the beginning.
The organization is privately funded and conducts an annual membership drive, with memberships at $20. Individuals do not have to become a member to visit the park.
Terry donated the park’s fencing in memory of her husband, Norman, in 2010.
“I’ve never done anything I feel more happy about,” Terry said. “The upkeep (of the park) has been wonderful over these 10 years and I salute the group that’s done it. And I appreciate Kimberly-Clark for allowing us the use of the land.”
The land is leased to the town of New Milford.
The park’s rules are posted at the park and at www.newmilforddogpark.org. Among them, dogs must be at least four months old, wear a license and be updated on all vaccinations.
Owners are responsible for their pets and their behavior, must keep an eye on their furry friends at all times and clean up after their dogs.
No human or dog food is permitted at the park that is open from sunrise to sunset.