By Evan Johnson and Lani Duke
RUTLAND—Dogs in the Rutland area will have two spaces all their own to sniff, play and romp in this spring.
A new nonprofit comprised of Rutland residents plans to open two parks. One will be adjacent to the West Rutland Rec. Center on two acres by the soccer field off Clarendon Avenue. The other is by the Rutland Regional Medical Center. On Monday, Dec. 5, the hospital announced they had donated two acres on the grounds, with plans to pinpoint the location in the next two weeks after consulting with a civil engineer.
RRMC Vice President Mary Nemeth said the medical center has land on both sides of Stratton Road. Wetlands and deer yards are among the areas under consideration.
“We at Rutland Regional were excited to learn about the Parks for Paws initiative. As part of this great community, we believe having an area dedicated for a dog park is important for many reasons,” she said.“Being outdoors is a great thing for individuals and their pets. We have the land and sharing it with our community is very meaningful to us.”
“It’s a great way for people to come together in a positive setting,” said Lyndsi Fischer, a West Rutland resident and director of the committee spearheading the parks, called Parks for Paws. “It’s healthy and it gets them to play with their animals.”
Both parks are on two acres and will be encircled by five-foot-high fences. The parks will have separate areas for smaller dogs and dog bags for owners to clean up.
The group needs $12,000 for fencing, signs and dog bag dispensers and garbage cans. To raise the money, the group plans to hold a silent auction and a photo shoot of dogs and their families. Dates, times and locations for both of these events have yet to be set. A Facebook page has been created under “Rutland County Dog Park” and folks are encouraged to visit the site for more information and ways to help support the project.
The group is the third committee to pursue organizing a park in the Rutland area. Fischer said she’s looking forward to having a place to play with her her black Labrador retriever, Rondo.
“We’re all dog owners on the committee and we can’t wait until this is finished,” she said.
Photo by Chris Johnson
An exuberant dog fetches a ball.