Photo Gallery | North Adams Dog Park opens
NORTH ADAMS — Nestled in the corner of one the city's downtown parks, a special fenced-in area is now open for dogs.
Years in the making, the city's new dog park near the Houghton Street playground only took weeks to build after receiving final approval from the city last month.
And although the park officially opens with a special ceremony on Friday at 4 p.m., the park has already been well used in the first days of its existence.
"The enthusiasm is just enormous," said Tara Jacobs, a city resident who has spearheaded the campaign for a dog park along with a group of volunteers. "I mean, this is why we did it all along, we really thought that this would be a huge asset to the community. People are excited about it, they're using it."
Prior to its opening, the volunteers held an open workshop to demonstrate the best practices for utilizing the dog park, instilling good behavior both for humans and dogs, that was well attended, according to Jacobs.
The park is divided into two sections, one for small dogs and one for large, and totals more than 6,000 square feet. Rules, which include a mandate that dogs be up-to-date on vaccines and not display violent tendencies, are posted visibly outside the gates.
The group's Facebook page, North Adams Community Dog Park, has become especially active since the park opened. In addition to a place where park visitors could provide feedback, the page has become a place where people can set up dog play dates at the park.
"So far the community that's part of our Facebook page has been really engaged," Jacobs said. "Our usage on that page has really exploded."
The park's visitors are taking an active role in maintaining it and providing suggestions on what can be improved--many of which the volunteers are already working on, Jacobs said. A sturdier sign to display the park's rules and benches are among its top priorities moving forward.
The park's advocates have long said that in addition to being beneficial to the city's residents, the park would also be an attractive asset to tourists. Already, Jacobs said she has met someone utilizing the park while staying at the adjacent Porches Inn.
"That's exactly what we proposed when we pitched it to the city," Jacobs said.
The raise funds for the continued improvement of the park, the group will hold a special "Paint your Pet" event on October 22. More information can be found at the group's Facebook page.
Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376