“Fish swim, birds fly, dogs walk” is a phrase that I heard in my research of dog behavior. Dogs are social creatures and love being with other dogs. That is the idea behind dog parks. While the idea of dog park is new to South River, it is not a revolutionary concept. Several neighboring towns such as Sayreville and East Brunswick have dog parks and the idea is increasingly common in modern, friendly, suburban towns.
All residents, even those without dogs, would benefit from a park improvement like this. Making a town friendlier is about balancing the needs and wants of other residents. No resident uses all features of every park. And there are several benefits of dog parks, some more obvious than others. The dogs have a chance to socialize, which means they’re less likely to bark and be aggressive to strangers. How many of us have neighbors that bark and howl all hours of the night?
Many dogs exhibit behavioral problems if they are not exercised or socialized as much as they’d like. I know my dog, Amber, will chew items up or try to escape the yard if she doesn’t exercise. Recently, she was hit by car while trying to go exploring. It’s hard to prevent all accidents but giving them a chance to burn off their extra energy in a safe environment goes a long way in taming their behavior.
Dog parks become a social venue for residents. I have learned a lot from bringing my own dogs to Sayreville’s dog park. Going to the dog park makes people more active, gives the owners the chance to mingle and strengthen their community bonds. I’ve seen residents of all ages from toddlers to seniors enjoy public spaces with their four-legged friends.
And then there is the economics. One nice thing about dog parks is that the are relatively low cost to create. It mainly requires setting a space and fencing it in. Other parts can be added as needed. Dogs only care about the other dogs and people that come there. Besides, there are also creative ways of funding the dog park with grants, donations, and fundraisers.
Investing in parks also has a direct effect on property values, meaning the investment provides a return to residents.
Sayreville has very active Facebook group for their dog park so I decided to create one for our community. Please like the “South River Dog Owners” page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/SRDogOwners/). We’d like to hear your feedback about the Council’s concept. Spaces Reimagined will be holding a Dog Park Meetup at Varga Park on May 20th (rain date May 21st) at 11am.
View the entire concept.