Above: The draft plan for Scalloptown Park includes areas for both large and small dogs.
It turns out Scalloptown Park may become a dog park after all. Part of it anyway. For years, town officials have said it would not be possible to do much of anything at Scalloptown Park because, as the site of a capped landfill (aka the old town dump), the cap could not be disturbed.
Town Community Services and Park Director Andy Wade has explored the issue and found some modifications are permissible. Earlier this month, the Town Council approved a grant proposal of $100,000 from the state to build a dog park on a stretch of the park that abuts the train tracks. The town would be on the hook for a $25,000 match. The park would include areas for both large and small dogs.
“I think we can stack the small project with additional features,” Wade told the Town Council at its Oct. 23 meeting, including a restroom (think compostable solar-powered toilets like they have at some state beaches) and a shade structure. He said the project would “check a lot of boxes,” referring to positives in a state grant application, because it would serve a more populated part of town, was near a bike path and would be located on the site of a former landfill. Those things “all help,” said Wade. The project would also include a larger parking area and “reformalized” walking paths.
Councilor Mike Donegan said it seemed like a good spot for a dog park, noting that “nobody’s ever against a dog park unless it’s right near their house.” There are no homes abutting the park property.
Wade said he hoped an official dog park would “normalize the use and change behavior,” referring to the many people who let their dogs off leash on the property now, even though that is against town law.