WAREHAM (WBSM) — The dogs of Wareham have been unleashed – literally – as the town’s dog park officially opened Saturday after nearly a decade in the works.

It was a doggone good time as all the good boys and girls gathered around with their human companions, watching the ribbon cutting ceremony and then being the first furry friends to utilize the Wareham Dog Park.

“It’s so exciting, I can't believe it’s finally here,” Dog Park Affiliation of Wareham President Corey Blanchard told WBSM as she watched dogs at play. “I feel like it’s been a long time coming, and I’m so happy with what we were able to do and I look forward to all the stuff we’re going to keep doing and keep adding to it.”

The DPAW board members and special guests cut the ribbon on the dog park at just about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and the dogs were off and running inside the fences just a short time later. The park will be open from dawn to dusk going forward.

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

The Wareham Dog Park is located on six acres at 74 Maple Springs Road, just across from the on-ramp for Interstate 495.

The park features two large fenced-in play areas, one for small dogs (25 pounds or less) and the other for large dogs. Each play area is double-gated with a small area in between each gate; owners will bring their dogs into the first section while still on the leash, and then can remove the leash once they enter the main play area.

There are benches for the humans in each area, as well as a water fountain for people and pups in each area as well.

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

The large dog area also has a decorative hydrant painted by Wareham Animal Control Officer Devin Cloutier. She made an old hydrant rescued from the scrap heap by the Wareham Water District into a focal point of the park.

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

“The next phase will be getting some activities for the dogs to do, like a teeter-totter for them to play on, and a platform for them to walk on, and things like that. We’ll add to that,” Blanchard said. “Eventually, if we can raise enough money, we’d like to get sun shades on both sides for when it’s hot and sunny out.”

“More phases to come, but we’re very excited for where we are now, and we are so grateful to everyone. It really was a team effort,” she said.

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The DPAW formed in 2014 in order to create an off-leash dog park in town, and began raising the necessary funds and securing the site. It became a non-profit in 2016.

Wareham voters approved $20,000 in Community Preservation Act funds at the 2017 fall town meeting to help qualify for a $225,000 Stanton Foundation grant, which it was awarded a little over a year ago and served to help get the park ready to finally open.

“It’s amazing, all the hard work of the volunteers especially, and then the (town) departments, working with them, it’s really a culmination,” Wareham Town Administrator Derek Sullivan told WBSM as his own dog ran around and played with another. “I didn’t realize how beautiful it would be until I saw it in person.”

“I like that they're going to keep on making it better as it goes along,” he said.

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