Wantage Dog Park Users Group Meeting

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					                     Wantage Dog Park Users Group Meeting

                                    February 1, 2007

The meeting was opened by Stu Baker the President of the Wantage Dog Park. Stu is the
owner of Baker’s Pharmacy and the visionary for the establishment of the park.

The other officers of the Dog Park introduced themselves:

Diane Bauman: Vise President - World class agility trainer, owner of the Dog Dome in
Wantage and author of “Beyond Basic Training.”
Dr. Robert Potter: Treasurer – Veterinarian and owner of Vernon Veterinary Clinic.
Dr. Karen Bullock: Secretary – Veterinarian and owner of Wantage Veterinary Hospital.

Diane Bauman informed us that there will be some agility equipment set up at the park in the
near future. It will be made by local eagle scouts. Agility is a dog sport that is similar to a
jumper course for horses. The dogs enjoy having a purpose and it develops off leash
relationships between dog and owner.

Alison Deeb the Founder of the Lewis Morris County Dog Park and MARDOG was at the
meeting to help promote off leash dog parks. She feels that dog parks are great for bringing
communities together and would like to help us in any way she can. She told us about the
Nation Dog Conference in Morristown on April 28. It is to educate people about starting parks
and to ensure the success of dog parks. Their goal is to have a national dog park association.
For more info call 973-290-9338.

It was announced that Vernon will also be setting up a dog park for their community of
approximately 5,000 dogs.

The treasurer then gave his report:
Wantage Dog Park is a public facility that is privately funded. It is important for the money to
come in continuously to build and maintain the park. So far we have collected $44,568 in
donations. Those donations were used to build the park. There is $7,259 left in the bank and
we still have to finish the parking lot (quarry process on top and pavement on the first 20-30
feet in the spring) We owe $13,675 back to individuals that spent money out of pocket to keep
the project going.

We will have a donation box at the park.
Someone had the idea of a dog park supporters group. It would be a way to donate to the
park by having a small donation put on a credit card monthly. Those that donate in this way
would have a button to wear to the park so that others will know that they donate to the park.

Special thanks were given to Stu Baker – without him the park would not have been created.
Thanks also to Angelo Cillarato for the excavating that was done at a major discount.
Troy of T&T fencing in Wantage was thanked for the fencing that was put up around the park.

Everyone in attendance at the meeting introduced themselves and told the others about their
dogs.

We discussed the expense of mass mailings and would like to communicate with each other by
e-mail.
Mention was made about forming an e-group on-line to have open discussions and
communications about the park.
Volunteers for different aspects of the park are needed. We will be handing out blue sheets of
paper at the end of the meeting for anyone interested. If you have a specialty or know
someone that could donate materials or time for projects around the park please list it on the
sheet along with your information. For example, things that are being donated to the park by
individuals include a flag pole, a porta potty, and a bulletin board with a waterproof case on
one side and cork board on the other. Also, we will need officers for the user’s group which will
enforce the rules of the park. We would like to have someone from the group at the park at all
times to make sure the park is used properly by all visitors. Each person will be responsible for
a couple of hours a month.

A fund raising committee should be formed – anyone interested, let us know on the blue
sheet.

We will need to maintain the lawn at the park. We do not know yet how often the lawn will
need to be moved or hayed but we do know that the town will not be maintaining the lawn so
it will be our responsibility.

We discussed briefly the park “rules of use” and touched upon a rule that is not yet written but
needs to be addressed. This rule would pertain to small children. Toddlers and small children
could easily get hurt or bit by a dog. We would like to have an age or height limit for small
children to enter the park. It was decided that a height limit would be a good idea. Also,
children should be a certain age to enter the park without an adult.

Other topics touched upon: Dogs should be off leash when in the park to prevent territorial
aggression; Should we have a “time out” area in the park?; What is the best way to handle a
situation where two dogs are not getting along i.e. Who should leave the park or get a time
out?. All visitors of the park need to be courteous of others. Some dogs just don’t do well in a
park situation and should be left at home if they don’t get along well with others.

We will be getting electricity in the park but will probably not be permitted to have a lighted
park at night. We might drill a well to have access to water for the dogs in the summer.

We are actively selling pavers for the park.
Pavers will be for sale even after the walkway is finished. The bricks will be removed,
engraved and replaced.

Business signs are still being sold to be placed around the back fence of the park.

Other fund raising ideas include pictures with Santa. We need to find someone to dress up as
Santa and someone who will take the photos. 50/50 raffles are a good idea but we need a
501-c-3 application to be filled out.

The question of insurance and liability was brought up – Basically, the town owns the park and
it is covered under its insurance.

We will be placing a pavilion on top of the hill in the park. It was mentioned that we should
put up a “do not congregate here” sign at the park entrance to discourage groups of people
and their dogs from standing near the entrance. This will make it easier for new people and
their pets to enter the park.

We will have monthly meetings.
The next meeting is Thursday March 1st.

				
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