Bucks County Herald

Richlandtown pushes back soft opening of dog park

MELINDA RIZZO

Richlandtown Borough residents may need to wait a little bit longer for the opening of a long anticipated dog play park.

Borough Council opted to hold-off on a soft opening for the dog park until a final inspection by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources could be made.

A roughly $20,000 grant award by the Department of Conservation is also tied to the successful completion and installation of the dog park.

“We’ve waited this long, I think we can wait two or three weeks more,” said Borough Council President Floyd Bless.

Jim Dunn, Richlandtown Borough mayor, urged a regular cycle of calls to the Department of Conservation offices, to keep the pressure on and to have the inspection completed.

“What is the saying, the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” Dunn said.

The new dog park located at on the property at Benner Memorial Park, 1260 E. Cherry Road, has been greeted with enthusiasm, if not impatience.

“A lot of people are concerned about the opening,” according to Councilman Giovanni Martello.

A fundraising 5K run will be held Sept. 30 at Benner Memorial Park with proceeds going toward the maintenance of the dog park, officials said. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. and the fun run will begin at 8 a.m. Participants should meet at the pavilion at Benner Memorial Park.

Once open, the new park would operate on the same schedule as Memorial Park, borough officials said in a previous interview. Possible free basic dog training sessions and orientations could be held at the park, borough officials said in a previous interview.

Dog park rules and use etiquette would be posted on signs at the park. Users agree to exercise their dogs at their own risk, borough officials said.

Other nearby municipalities such as Perkasie offer fenced dog park play areas where dog owners may bring their dogs for off-leash play and social time.

On the Perkasie Borough website, rules for using the park are listed and include a use at own risk disclaimer, types of collars – such as prong, pinch and spike – prohibited in the park, and that youngsters under the age of 14 are prohibited from using or being inside the dog park.

The Perkasie Dog Park also prohibits puppies less than 6 months old, and recommends dog owners visit the park without their pets for the first time, to become acquainted with the facilities.

Other nearby off-leash dog play parks are located in Bethlehem, Hellertown, North Wales and Phoenixville.

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