Dogs and humans visiting the over the past couple of months have probably noticed some significant additions to the park, such as the wood carving, information kiosk and shed. Over the course of the next week, they will also notice a significant subtraction: at long last, the dilapidated house at the front of the property is coming down!
Originally, the house was scheduled for demolition in May 2011, however, disagreements amongst city officials over the method of destruction (burn down, tear down, etc.), as well as health and safety concerns, delayed the demolition project time and again. The siding was removed from the house over a month ago, and the porch demolished, leaving the house looking even more derelict than before.
Now that all safety concerns have been addressed, a demolition crew will be arriving early next week to work on the project. “The demolition process is expected to take three days,” says Ron Herrick, Director of Shelton Parks and Recreation. There will be heavy equipment on site, and the dangerous work of demolition is scheduled to begin sometime next week.
Right now, the work is expected to begin on Monday, November 7; however this may be delayed a day or two, depending upon what the demolition crew finds when they arrive on site.
During the demolition process, the Dog Park will be closed to the public. Please check the Friends of Shelton Dog Park Facebook page for details and dates, which will be posted as they are available from the city.
Once the house is demolished, plans are to construct a much-needed additional parking area, as well as to provide access to fresh water via a hand pump connected to the well on the property. Parts for the pump are on order, and the water must be tested for purity before this amenity will be available, however, it is in the works.
Regarding the additions to the park, the wood carving, information kiosk and shed are all welcome additions.
The wood carving, laboriously completed by local carver Tim Bonney, is a wonderful work of art and landmark, keeping sentinel over the intersection and guiding and welcoming park goers to the park. Several Friends and members of the public have suggested a naming contest for the dog in the carving. This is in the planning stage.
The information kiosk was constructed by Jake Johnson of Boy Scout Troop 27 as his Eagle Scout Project. Jake and the troop did a fantastic job and the city and park Friends are grateful to have the best-looking kiosk in Shelton. Information and events about the Dog Park and other dog related topics can be found in the kiosk.
The shed, purchased with funds generously donated by local businesses and civic organizations, now provides on-site storage space for park supplies. The following businesses and groups contributed to the purchase:
- – 350 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton – (203) 929-7575
- – 210 Leavenworth Road, Shelton - (203) 929-0075
- – 494 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton – (203) 922-2643
- Friends of Shelton Dog Park – www.fosdogpark.org
- City of Shelton Dog Park Fund
The Friends of Shelton Dog Park formed in April of this year and is dedicated to helping maintain and improve the park. They have been actively raising funds, planting flowers, moving mulch and more over the past seven months. For details of how you can get involved, visit the Friends website at www.fosdogpark.org.
The dog park has really caught the attention of dog lovers far and wide. In fact, it is scheduled to be featured on News Channel 12’s Pet Talk show early next year! Additionally, the Friends have been contacted by community organizers from several local towns that are without their own dog park. They have sought advice and guidance regarding creating dog parks in their own towns, and even asked Friends to participate at their planning meetings as guest speakers.
All in all, the dog park has come a long way since the fence went up almost exactly one year ago. City officials state that it is the second busiest park in Shelton (second only to the children’s playground at Riverview Park on Route 110). Judging by the number of dog park regulars, both human and canine, the park is certainly a ‘barking’ success!