Committee identifies 3 locations for potential Wareham dog park

By Matthew Bernat | Sep 30, 2016

Since they started meeting in June, members of the town’s Dog Park Study Committee have made serious progress in identifying locations for an off leash park where canines can run free.

Committee members have ranked three locations based on preference, which was whittled from an initial list of seven sites. All of the properties are currently owned by the town.

Without giving the exact addresses of the areas, members said the sites are on Charge Pond Road, Onset Avenue and Tihonet Road.

Trenton Blanchard said the committee is studying the feasibility of the different sites and had preliminary work to do before the exact locations would be disclosed publicly.

At October’s Town Meeting, the committee will present a report of its activities over the past few months and give an update on future activities.

The dog park is being spearheaded by members of DPAW (Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham) who started the effort in 2015.

Initially, the group hoped to open a park at Minot Forest with $100,000 in Community Preservation Act funds. At April’s Town Meeting, the group withdrew its request after issues regarding safety, liability and maintenance were raised.

In the wake of the meeting, the five-person Dog Park Study Committee was formed to study the issue.

In addition to finding dog park locations, committee members requested information from 10 Massachusetts cities and towns that opened dog parks.

Of those 10, the committee received responses from three: Provincetown, Mashpee and Falmouth.

Those towns provided background on how dog parks were opened, including information on insurance and other potential hurdles.

The committee will continue to seek information from towns with dog parks to help plan Wareham's park.

Comments (30)
Posted by: Spherebreaker | Oct 03, 2016 09:17

Hopefully this group has been fund raising because I will vote No on any request for CPC funds or use of public lands.

Posted by: shop247 | Oct 03, 2016 11:38

I agree.  You want a dog park, fine, but not on town property and not a dime from the town or CPA coffers.  This is just what the town needs, another liability, another place for the drug dealers, another stop on the don't trash Wareham train.  And before anyone disputes my statement, take a ride through the cemetery.  Yes, the cemetery, a place that should be respected.  First, ignore the odd balls who go to the cemetery for their lunch hour, the ones who pull out a lounge chair and hide behind their vehicle to get some sun and the ones with their seats back, taking a nap.  Ignore them, park your car and take walk.  You'll notice empty nip bottles, half pints, cigarette butts, dog poop and general trash -- AT THE CEMETERY.  Now, notice the other parked cars and not the people visiting their loved ones.  Notice the cars with the music blaring and the smoke filled windows, the ones where the people are entering and exiting their vehicles almost like musical chairs.  AND to top off the experience, if you're lucky, you can enjoy the wafting smell of weed as you pass by.   Now if they can treat a cemetery like that what do you think they'll do at an off the beaten track dog park?

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 03, 2016 13:01

A mentor early in my career once said, "Don't worry about mice, when elephants are tap-dancing on your head".  With all the problems in town, why worry about something as unnecessary as a dog park?  I just don't get it.   

Posted by: sadie | Oct 04, 2016 08:11

I don't understand why so many people are against the dog park. It is something positive for the town not a negative.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Oct 04, 2016 09:30

Its something positive for dog owners that choose to use it. The Town has way to many need to haves before any money is spent on want to haves.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 04, 2016 10:58

I am not against it. It's a priority thing.  70 inch TV or formula for the baby?  That's my main concern.     

Posted by: shop247 | Oct 04, 2016 19:58

I don't think anyone is against a dog park but are against ANY town involvement, money, land, maintenance, liability...whoever wants a dog park let them fund it, purchase land, fence it off, maintain it, insure it and keep their hands out of the town or CPA cookie jar.

Posted by: sadie | Oct 04, 2016 20:44

what would you like the CPC funds to be spent on.? It is a dog park it falls under the CPC category for parks. CPCis also asking for money for other parks in town

Posted by: sadie | Oct 04, 2016 20:47

I should have said there is a request for funds from the CPC for other parks in town.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 04, 2016 21:11

I'm against spending any money on any parks right now.  But I see it is hard to tighten the belt when there are funds burning a hole.  If CPA must be spent, it should be on something that all can enjoy.  I don't have a dog.  My family and I cannot enjoy a dog park.

Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Oct 04, 2016 21:30

By "all" you mean "I" WBTS?  I have no problem using CPA funds for this but would love to hear how it will be maintained without spending town general funds in any way.


Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 04, 2016 22:42

No, that's not what I mean.  I do not think CPA funds should be spent on a a dog park that just dog owners will benefit from.  I was referring to residents without dogs in general.  No different than if a skate park was the topic instead of a dog park.  Even though my own kid skateboards, I do not feel it benefits enough residents so I would oppose CPA being used on that as well.  CPA should not be used on such specific things.


As as far as maintenance.  There is no way a dog park can exist without need for future general funds.  Simple mowing, trash pick-up, all the poop, parking lot care, grounds care, etc.  Then security and everything else as mentioned above.  It sounds good (to dog owners) but there are too many details that make it an impractical use of CPA and an impractical use of general funds.












Posted by: sadie | Oct 05, 2016 08:00

So because you don't have kids does that mean you don't want money to be used for fixing up the playgrounds in town? The money is to be used for parks and recreation. The CPC money can ONLY be spent on very SPECIFIC  things and parks and recreation are two of those things.

I think if you listen to what the dog park committee says at town meeting they have come up with ideas where they the committee would be maintain the park and raise private funds for future maintenance.

I don't have small children anymore but that doesn't mean I don't want the playgrounds improved or even new ones built.

Wareham by the sea what would you want the funds to be spent on??

Posted by: Knocked for six | Oct 05, 2016 09:43

Speaking of CPC  how much money is being dumped into the Tremont property and why? And now making it a public parking?

Posted by: shop247 | Oct 05, 2016 10:17

I don't think CPA funds should be used on something so few will enjoy.  If I remember correctly, their ideas were that volunteers  would maintain the park.  I haven't read a single thing about an actual plan. Lack of information and planning can kill a cause.  Questions need to be answered.  Who is going to... mow the lawn, plow the lot and the park itself, pay for expensive ice melt that is paw friendly, pay for the all natural super expensive tick control, the lighting, the fencing, the INSURANCE, who is liable for dog bites to humans or canines, liable for injury, who will ensure the dogs are up to date on shots, are sufficiently socialized to be let loose with other dogs, what kind of security will there be, who will make and enforce the rules, who will pick up poop because if your dog is off leash and out of sight, how will you know he pooped..,

It doesn't help that this has been on our radar for over a year and a half and there is no concrete plan, no information, none of my questions can be answered, their Facebook page (with 800 likes, I'm one of them)) doesn't provide any info and their website doesn't exist....And with no information or planning, we're supposed to give them money?????

I lived in the city for years, we had no green space.  I walked my dog multiple times a day in all kinds of weather and when my dog got antsy, I ran with my dog.  I'm older now, I have 3 dogs but I don't own a dog that requires more exercise than I can provide, it wouldn't be fair to my dog.   I do have my own green space now, it's called a fenced in yard.  It would probably be cheaper if the handful of people who want this park, invested in a fence for their yard.  And before the backlash for my comment starts, here are a couple of my knew the property you rented didn't have a yard, why'd you rent there or get a dog after you rented... you knew the property you bought wasn't fenced in, why you'd get a dog, if exercising the dog was going to be a problem... if you're dog needs to run and you can't, why'd you get a dog that was beyond your physical fitness (not applicable to people with injury or sickness).  If you want the social aspect of a dog park (for your dog, not you), make a play date or get your dog a playmate, that's why I have 3, they keep each other entertained..



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Oct 05, 2016 11:48

I think CPA funds which are available for recreation use should first be used for projects which hold a potential for benefitting the entire population, such as updating and maintaining playgrounds and athletic fields and where needed, if allowed by CPA law, providing secure fencing to protect these areas from late night misuse. If at some future time all of the playground and athletic field needs have been provided for, then it would be more appropriate for limited use proposals such as a dog park to be brought forward.

Posted by: Chaka | Oct 05, 2016 14:06

I am pro-CPC, but I don't see any accountability here. I want to see a yearly report of money collected and money spent. When the program was first proposed to the public it was for 3 things--historic preservation, affordable housing and land preservation. A few years later the state snuck in the recreation category. In the interest of fairness and transparency, the CPC should allocate 25% of the money to each category and publish a yearly report in Wareham Week as to where the money was spent.

also, it appears they are trying to reduce the community preservation committee down to just two members. Correct me if I have it wrong. I don't like the idea of two people getting to decide where ALL that money goes. Why not propose several options in each category and let town residents vote on their favorites? That way the money would go to what the public really wants to preserve, conserve, play with etc.


Posted by: sadie | Oct 05, 2016 17:59

Andrea at town meeting they are going to ask for money for Lopes playground. I think there are two other playgrounds in town also looking for money.

Chaka they are looking for more members so maybe you can volunteer. You can ask them at town meeting how much money they have. I think they do divide the money into catagories' I thought I heard that they had 2 million for affordable housing. Chaka the CPC doesn’t decide where the money is spent someone has to ask for money for a project. The CPC the presents the article to the selectmen for approval and then on to town meeting for a vote.  


Posted by: sadie | Oct 05, 2016 18:17













40% 232,000

I found this on the town web site on the CPC board there is more information go to agendas and when you get to their page on the left click on reports

Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Oct 05, 2016 19:15


The committee does not decide where the money goes.  They decide, based on the proposals they receive, which ones are legal uses of the money and they bring them to town meeting.  The townspeople decide if they want the money used for those legal purposes or not at town meeting.  Wouldn't really matter if there was only one person on the committee as long as they were doing their part in determining the legality of the use of the money.  Of course, we spent $1 mil on a nice swifts beach property view lawsuit but that is beside the point...


There are a lot of people who don't use playgrounds or athletic fields.  Fact is, there is no use for this money that fits EVERYONE'S lifestyle.  Sometimes we have to give a little to people who have different opinions/lifestyles than us.  For what my opinion is worth, I don't see the use of a dog park.  I have a dog and I am perfectly happy keeping it away from a bunch of other strange, unknown dogs.


Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Oct 05, 2016 20:16

Even with the addition of "recreation" to the CPC mandate, wouldn't this mean recreation for people, not animals?

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 05, 2016 20:19

Sadie, sorry I couldn't reply sooner.  I do have kids but I don't have a dog.  That doesn't mean I'm pro playground and anti dog park.  My kids will grow up and I might get a dog.  That doesn't mean I'll flip to anti playground and pro dog park.  It isn't about my current situation.  It isn't about any one person's needs.  I feel that the CPC funds should benefit a large percentage of the population.  Dog owners are not large enough.


I feel that it is alright to use CPC on playgrounds because playgrounds provide benefit to a much larger percentage.  Even when kids grow up, couples can look forward to taking their grand kids to playgrounds.  Some have basketball which we all can use.  Heck, I use the big swings down Swift's myself.  Been using those since I was a little kid.


I'm all for using CPC for the preservation of critical resource areas for us all to enjoy.  Some of the walking trails by Little Harbor are the best.  I took my kids on those trails when they were just tykes and my parents walk them and they are in their 70s.  See, fun for all.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 05, 2016 20:53

I guess it's all relative because I'd rather CPC funds be used for a dog park than for an overgrown parking lot on Swift's Beach or a polluted old factory next to a failing dam.

Posted by: sadie | Oct 05, 2016 22:21

I wonder how many people in town own a dog, if it is more than 50% of the population is that enough to have a dog park. Once all the parks are fixed why not a dog park or a skate park for the kids. Some people might think watching a bunch a dog run around free is fun plus is a way to socialize with neighbors I think it brings the community closer.

Just like a bunch of kids skateboarding in a skate board park gives another place for kids to play and stay out of trouble. I think the more diversified our parks may attract more people to Wareham. 

Some of the money is used for historical preservation which I think is a waste of money but I get why other people might think it is important. I don't object to the money being spent in that way. Anything that improves the lifestyle of the people in town is a good idea

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 05, 2016 23:24

Animal Control has the doggie census. It's probably public record.  Like I said up top, it is a priority thing.  So yes, there will come a time when a dog park makes sense.  A skate park may be further down the list.  My boy would love one of those.  We drive to Plymouth or Bourne to use theirs.  That could raise a whole new argument.  Why buy a cow when you can get milk for free?  Where is the nearest dog park?

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 05, 2016 23:39

Oh, yea.  I'm not a big fan of hysterical preservation either.  That is because I'm jaded or maybe shell shocked is a better term due to the polluted factory that we are stuck with.  Fixing up a little building somewhere in town is fine with me.  However, extremely poor judgement over some old nails is what concerns me when it comes to properly allocating these funds.

Posted by: sadie | Oct 06, 2016 09:17

there is a dog park in Falmouth

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 07, 2016 11:25

That's a little too far to go to walk the dog.  There is a skate part there too.  My son uses it while my daughter plays against Falmouth.

Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Oct 07, 2016 13:00

The "poor judgement" of the Nail Factory is on the backs of the few people who attended that particular town meeting.   Changes can be accepted or denied by the people if they just show up.  Most sit around and complain though, rather then making a difference for themselves or at least TRY to make a difference.


Posted by: Whm4now | Oct 07, 2016 14:07

People can go to Town Meeting to voice their opinion.

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