As construction continues on Valley Stream’s dog park, local canine enthusiasts gathered at Sip This last week to discuss what still needs to be done before the facility opens to the public in the spring.
The park will be constructed near Village Hall, along a strip of grass between the parking lot and Long Island Rail Road tracks. Fencing has been installed for the two parks — one for small dogs and one for large dogs — but gates still need to be put in. Other items that need to be completed by the village are the installation of water fountains and lighting.
Member of Friends of Valley Stream Dog Park met on Nov. 30 to talk about the progress being made. There were joined by Eagle Scout-hopefuls Shaun Powers and Charlie Clifford, of Troop 369, who are doing their required community service projects for the dog park. Powers is building the sign with the park rules, and Clifford is constructing obstacles for the dogs, including a pair of ramps. Clifford’s older brother, Jack, already has started constructing a shelter in the large dog park for his Eagle Scout project.
Peter Marin, also of Troop 369, is looking to create some murals that would be placed around the park for his Eagle Scout project. Marin, a Central High School student, and his father Sal came out to last week’s meeting to learn about what is being done and what needs to be done for the dog park.
One issue that was discussed was the ground surface of the park. John Peritore noted that after some heavy rain last week, the ground was very muddy. Richard Infield, leader of the Friends group, said that is one of the downfalls of a grass surface.
Other options include wood chips, but that would make it difficult for dog owners to clean up after their pets. Sand or decomposed granite are options, as well. Peritore noted that the village highway department has leftover highway millings from when it rips up a road. He suggested that the material, which when ground up is almost as fine as sand, could be tested to see if it would be toxic for dogs. If not, he said, that could make a good surface.
When will the park open?
Deputy Mayor Vincent Grasso attended the meeting to hear the concerns of the Friends members. He noted that while the park was initially expected to open this month, it was pushed off to the spring so that all of the kinks could be ironed out. He doesn’t want a repeat of the skate park.