JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP – Thanks to the work being done by Oak Ridge residents Nancy Stryker and Lori Calderone, dogs living in the township will soon have their own place to play together and to run around.
Back in the spring the duo brought before the town council a 200-signature petition asking for a dog park. The council was on board from the beginning, said Stryker.
After much consideration town donated about an acre of land located behind the municipal building, but asked that all money needed to create the park and then maintain it come from donations.
Since then, Stryker and Calderone, along with a handful of volunteers, have been raising the money needed to build the park.
According to Stryker they have raised about half of what is needed to fence the entire property.
“There will be two fenced in areas, one for large dogs and one for small dogs,” said Stryker who also wants to add benches (for the humans) and agility apparatus. Donations can also be made in the name of a pet for a memorial plaque to be erected at the park.
Last Saturday the group hosted a 5K walk as one of the many events planned to help raise money for the park. Organized by volunteer Megan Goldstein, the weather proved too much with high winds and a driving rain keeping people away. Only a handful of humans and their dogs participated in the event.
Stryker said her group recently received a donation of hundreds of canine coats that they have already sold off, raising $3,500 for the park.
Since June, volunteer Dawn Carafa has been in charge of a town-wide collection can campaign, bringing in about $100 a week, said Stryker.
Future plans are to secure corporate donations and to hold more events, she said, adding that there will be a collection day at the A&P in Oak Ridge and the Pathmark in Lake Hopatcong. A date has yet to be determined.
For more information or to donate visit the Dog Park in Jefferson Township, NJ Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/dogparkjeffersonnj.