Wareham dog park supporters to unleash fundraising efforts

By Meghan Neely | Jul 11, 2018

After years of planning and addressing safety concerns, there appears to be one more hurdle for the Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham – money.

Affiliation members are getting their application materials ready for a grant that would bring them one step closer to creating space for man’s best friend if approved.

The group has been working to create a safe and enclosed space for Wareham’s pooches to play off leash since 2016.

“It’s a slow process,” said Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham President Josh Crabb. “We haven’t seen a lot of movement, but it’s not a forgotten project by any means.”

The future dog park was approved during the 2017 Town Meeting and the group currently has a 99-year lease with the town for a 1-acre property off Maple Springs Road.

According to Crabb, his group is now working to get the ball rolling with a grant application to the Staton Foundation.

The Staton Foundation has previously helped with the construction of dog parks in neighboring towns such as Bourne and Mashpee, and if approved, Wareham could see up to $225,000 of their construction costs covered.

Crabb said he’s optimistic about Wareham’s chances, though he’ll have to prove that the Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham can match 10 percent of the park’s cost before the grant can be awarded.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of public fundraising,” Crabb said.

According to Crabb, the group will be at the Wareham Swan Festival on July 14 to collect donations and answer questions.


DPAW will also host an informational session at the Wareham Free Library on July 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“We want people to bring their questions and get involved,” Crabb said. “Everyone should be up to date.”

A dog owner himself, Crabb said there are very few areas in Wareham where dogs can run freely off leash.

Many beaches are dog restricted, and public areas such as playgrounds and shopping centers aren’t exactly dog friendly either.

“There’s about a thousand registered dogs in Wareham,” Crabb said. “And I’m sure there are even more that aren’t registered. Seasonal residents bring their dogs here, too, and there’s just no safe place for them.”

Crabb hopes the dog park will serve as a gathering space for community dog owners where events like training courses can be held.

For now, though, the park is still a long way off.

“Even if the grant was approved tomorrow,” Crabb said, “It would still be another 12 to 18 months before we could open.”


Comments (30)
Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 11, 2018 17:26

What's the dollar amount that the dog park proponents must raise in order to meet 10 percent of the total cost of the dog park? How much have they raised thus far toward that goal?

Posted by: Bluebell3333 | Jul 12, 2018 06:27

Bourne has not secured funding from the Stanton foundation. They went out it differently by securing the 10% matching money first. That money came quickly by using Community Preservation dollars. Bourne hS had an equally long drawn out wait to make their dream a reality but for a different reason. Finding an appropriate place to locate the park has been difficult. Most all choices are met with conservation or some other type of restriction attached to the land.

Posted by: Beachbum0715 | Jul 12, 2018 08:09

come to the informational session being held on July 28th at the wareham free library from 10-12. most of your questions will be answered via a presenation follow by Q&A

Posted by: shop247 | Jul 12, 2018 10:17

My biggest question is about LIABILITY.  In light of all of the recent dangerous dog hearings... Who is responsible if someone gets bit?  Injured?  Will there be some sort of security, lighting -- and who will pay for all of it if donations run dry?  For those of us who can't make the information session can you post a link to a business plan that explains projected costs and funding?

Posted by: shop247 | Jul 12, 2018 10:19

Oh And, will dogs be required to be licensed and vaccinated?

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 12, 2018 10:40

Warrant for Wareham Town Meeting October 2017 Article 27 requested $20,000 in CPA funding for dog park to meet the 10% required in order to qualify for Stanton Grant. I don't remember the outcome of that article and can't locate the information online. Does anyone remember the outcome of that article at Town Meeting?

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 12, 2018 13:10

It's Stanton Foundation, not Staton Ms. Neely.

The Warrant is here page 27,and it was authorized. http://www.wareham.ma.us/sites/warehamma/files/pages/2017_fall_tm_warrant_no_appendix.pdf



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 12, 2018 13:33

Shop247 - I'm with you!  An area with a bunch of unleashed dogs just seems like a recipe for trouble.  There won't be a sign saying "No BAD DOGS and NO BAD DOG OWNERS".  Like many other things, the minority that's bad will ruin it for the majority that's good.  No matter where you go in life, that's what happens.


Heck, my closest group of friends and family (framily) all have dogs.  These are the people that I love.  These are the people that my children have grown up with.  Guess what?  Every time we all get together there is a dog issue.  Nips, fighting, aggression, excessive barking, destructive behavior, poop to step in, and other annoying stuff.  If 4 or 5 dogs among a group of close friends and family have issues, how is an unsupervised free-for-all dog park supposed to work?  Annoying things will be immediate at a dog park  and I'll bet a significant attack will happen within one month of opening it.  Sorry about being a negative nellie but I just feel that a dog park is a bad idea.


Once again, I like dogs and believe that they are great companions and truly man's best friends.  I am not anti-dog.

Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Jul 12, 2018 23:08

"Every time we all get together there is a dog issue."


Well, yeah, that's the idea.  Because the same stupid dog stuff happens repeatedly at every get-together but it doesn't occur to anyone to maybe leave the trouble-making, untrained, uncontrolled mutts at home.  Because actually training a dog to be sociable is s-o-o-o  h-a-a-a-r-d.  I have the same problem with my equally antisocial inlaws.  They trash our get-togethers with dogs because they're too lazy to hold up wind chimes for an entire afternoon.


I dislike dogs in general because most dog owners are drooling idiots.  But I've met a few dogs I adored.  Last summer I met one that actually responded to verbal commands from its owner.  What an awesome, admirable creature!


But all the same, if a group of dog freaks has invested the time and energy to fund a free range dog park on a previously useless piece of ground, why should anyone stand in their way or otherwise discourage them?  I say Go for it, Freaky Dog People!


If you're worried about attacks or other negative interactions, well then, you're not invited to the dog park.

Posted by: Bluebell3333 | Jul 13, 2018 05:54

Wareham by the Sea,

You are acting as though a place for dogs to play and socialize untethered is a new idea. Most communities throughout the country now have them. Locally one is planned for Bourne, falmouth and six other towns on the cape have them. Plymouth, Dartmouth and several others have them.

You wonder what the liabilities are. They are the exact same as they would be if a child were injured on one of our playgrounds.

As for ongoing costs, there are several avenues to take all of which do not require tax Dollars. Many town dog parks are run by non profit 'friends' groups who go everything from daily maintainence which includes raking the park and simply monitoring the place to fundraing events etc.

You need to know that many people care more for their dogs than they do for their humans.

I suggest you do some reading up on how successful dog parks are throughout the country. They are fast becoming as much a staple in towns as playgrounds for children.


Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 13, 2018 07:23

Shop, rabies shots and licensing are the law of the land so, yes. I really miss the Cheryl Malone dog park in Dennis. There are two separate, large enclosures. I have one rescue of two who plays too aggressively with some dogs, so I keep mine in the separate area and they can run up and down the fence happily with dogs in the other area. If it gets busy he goes back on a lead. I've never witnessed an incident nor heard of one at that park, we still go. There are trash cans, pick up bags and a picnic table. Dogs and people socialize. There are donation cans at the local markets for upkeep.

Posted by: shop247 | Jul 13, 2018 10:43

Society, I'm not against the Dog Park. I'm against using ANY tax dollars or town resources for the park.  I don't think our struggling town should hold any liability for injury or share in the cost of ANYTHING (not a single penny) related to the park, lighting, maintenance (mowing the lawn, plowing the parking area, cleaning the park...), garbage removal...and security...thugs use and sell drugs at the cemetery what's going to stop them from utilizing an out of the way dog park?

Onset, I know the law requires licensing and vaccination, I have 3 dogs, but not everyone obeys the law and follows the rules, hence my question.


I'm interested to see a viable business plan that addresses cost projections for setting up the park (parking, fencing, any land clearing...), cost projections (ideally for the next 3-5 years) for the services required to run a park..(insurance, maintenance, lighting, security...), financial projections (where is all this money going to come from, fundraising, grant request/acquisitions)...


Posted by: Phredzzz | Jul 13, 2018 16:59

To all who are interested:  If a Doggie-Park is such an excellent idea, how come they have closed and are failing to maintain the minimum dollar commitments for staying open all across the country ?

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 13, 2018 18:04

Bluebell- I am quite aware that most communities have dog parks.  The problem is that Wareham is not like most communities.  The proof is in the demographics.  We can’t even have a firework show without a slew of sweaty knuckle dragging morons acting up.  Falmouth...yes.  Dartmouth...yes.  Wareham...hell no!  The owners will probably behave worse than the dogs!  I can just picture it now.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 13, 2018 20:40

Phredzzz mention of dog parks closing due to failure to maintain minimum dollar commitments sent me online to search for "dog park closures." A drop down box on Bing's search engine listed several search options the first of which was "dog park closures due to poop."


Having clicked on that option and having read several of the articles from the list which that click produced, I suggest that everyone whether pro or con regarding the dog park issue do the same online search and read some of  the "dog park closures due to poop" news articles.

Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Jul 13, 2018 22:19

You use Bing?  haha.  I knew there was one user left.  Just kidding Andrea.  You do some good research.


Posted by: Bluebell3333 | Jul 14, 2018 05:44

The more I think about it maybe Wareham Shoukd abandon the idea of a dog park. This town has been unable to maintain just about anything on a regular basis and the comnent about the fights and how people I any sort of gathering often turns into a need for police. What works well for most towns doesn't actual fit in our town. We are a poor town on the brink of disaster financially.

Posted by: kevinc687 | Jul 14, 2018 07:08

This isn't Cambridge or Manhattan where everyone lives in an apartment or condo, this is Wareham where almost everyone has a yard   make your own yard safe for your dog. we don't need a park.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jul 14, 2018 08:31

It's becoming clear that it's not the dogs that need the park, it's the readers of Wareham week that need the park to practice socialization skills in a group setting while the dogs play.

This is another good distraction for the town's people so the powers that be can operate unquestioned.

Drink that Kool-Aid.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 14, 2018 08:31

Kevin obviously missed the whole socialization aspect, and hasn't been to one of our myriad of mobile home parks.

Sadly I agree that this has to be an entirely private venture, Wareham as currently governed cannot sustain even a simple dog park.


Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 14, 2018 23:18

Falmouth dog park's budget is $ 10,000 a year, and no reported bad incidents.

Posted by: Curiouscat | Jul 15, 2018 07:05

I have to agree with Kevin on this one,  I have (in my opinion) the best behaved dog but she's getting older and doesn't like being confronted by other dogs, especially young pups who want to play.  My girl tends to love people more than other dogs.  I think a dog park would do extremely well for maybe the first year but then the novelty would wear off and then it would sit idle.  If you look around there are plenty of places to walk your pooch here.  I vote no.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 15, 2018 12:16

I bet these dog owners promoting the dog park cant wait for that big lick and nuzzle of appreciation from their dog after an enjoyable day of sticking their noses in all those strange and possible worm infected butts. I hope they lay a big wet one on the owners.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 15, 2018 13:17

Heeee Heeee Heee...don't be silly Sphere.  Don't you know that dog saliva is a magical antiseptic compound that is 100% effective at killing every bacteria known.  Yep...that's what a dog person just told me.  Yet earlier in that day her dog ran around and consumed every bit of geese poop from a huge field like an all you can eat Chinese buffet.  Then it ate grass to make itself puke.  Then it lapped up the puddle of geese poop & grass vomit mixture back up like a smoothie.  Kisses for everyone!

Posted by: JollyRoger | Jul 15, 2018 20:47

We can't afford basic town services like a full-time council of aging director, trash collection, a library, or maintenance and water for our cemeteries but we have $10,000 or whatever is needed annually so dogs have a nice place to poop.  Glad to know some people's priority's are in the right place.  Wow.

Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Jul 15, 2018 21:42

Jollyroger, the COA director could be in place if anyone showed up to town meeting.  Trash collection is available if you want to pay for it or just get a sticker and bring it yourself.  The town hasn't had their own trash collection in YEARS.  We have a library.  Maintenance of the cemeteries is being conducted regularly.  If you want water for the cemeteries, go blame the jackass who left it running or broke it or whatever the story was, not the town.  Even still, with all of these things, a dog park will never be a part of a town budget.  The funds will be raised privately or, if it is possible, come from the CPA funds.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 15, 2018 22:39

Let's see if I understand this correctly.  CPA is an additional 3% tax that we pay on on  the portion of our real estate that exeeds $100,000. Right?  It is normally used to buy environmentally sensitive land to be preserved, create nature trails, restore playgrounds for humans, maybe athletic fields for humans, restore historical places, etc.  I'm ok with all that.  I'm not ok with CPA funds being used for dogs.  Sorry, it seems like a misuse of funds.

Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Jul 16, 2018 08:02

WBTS, it could be.  We have done worse with these funds over the years.  Of course, any and all CPA fund use is always dependent upon town meeting voters.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 16, 2018 16:30

A dog park, even "a simple dog park" as referenced by Onsettogether is a luxury. No town which struggles financially (in this case Wareham) to provide basic town services, fund capitol needs, and fund employee health insurance and retirements should be tapping town coffers to "sustain even a simple dog park"


Regarding CPA funding for a dog park, I agree with WBTS, CPA funding should not be used for a dog park. CPA funding available for recreational use should be used for playground improvements, park beautification, athletic fields, i.e. recreational space which provides opportunities for safe creative play, team sports, and exploring nature.







Posted by: cranky pants | Jul 16, 2018 18:39

I guess it's safe to say when it comes to funds the dog park committee is barking up the wrong tree...

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