Groundbreaking Ceremony Held For New Dog Park in New Bedford
NEW BEDFORD- After a brief postponement earlier in the week, the ‘Captain Jack Peterson Dog Park’ in New Bedford held its official groundbreaking ceremony today on Hathaway Boulevard across the street from the high school. Jack Peterson, who was a radio personality at WBSM and WNBH for three decades, passed away in 2014.
As Peterson was known for his talents on the radio, he was also a well-known animal lover, who would frequently donate to charities providing care for animals, making sense of naming it in his honor.
Mayor Jon Mitchell hosted a press conference this afternoon along with city officials. The mayor expressed pride in he and City Hall’s ability to find the perfect piece of reusable land, citing his administrations fifth time opening a public park in the city.
“It marks the fifth public park that has been built during my administration, three have already been built, this and another one are under construction right now, and it really marks a commitment by the city to create green open spaces, green public spaces, because that’s what makes cities thrive” said the mayor.
Plans for a dog park in New Bedford date as far back as 2008, when City Council established a Special Committee on the Feasibility of Creating a Dog Park. In 2014, Mayor Mitchell led the effort in finding the site of the park, which is now finally being put into operation after nine years. The Department Parks, Recreation and Beaches will manage the dog park with the Department of Public Infrastructure handling its maintenance.
The funding for the park comes entirely from a grant through the Stanton Foundation, created by long-time President of CBS Frank Stanton, whose core-mission is to strengthen the bond between humans and dogs. New Bedford was awarded $222,472.00 for the construction of the park from Stanton, along with $21,940.00 for its design.
Captain Jack Peterson Dog Park is expected to feature front-and-back entryways, on-site parking with a walkway up to the entrance, sandpit and balance beams for the dogs to play on, shade trees, and two separated play areas for small and large dogs. Owners are expected to pick-up after their dogs with disposable baggies and trash receptacles on-site. The parks perimeter will be surrounded by a black-vinyl chain linked fence that doubles at the exits.
A swipe-card access system will allow members into the area. Dog owners can obtain these swipe-cards from the city by paying an annual fee. Admission to the park will be available to all neutered and licensed dogs that must have all vaccinations up to date.
Completion of the park is expected by this fall with an accompanying ceremony to open it up to the public.