Happy almost summer everyone! As the temperature heats up, more outdoor activities are going to be scheduled with our families and in our communities. One of these events is occurring this Sunday at 10am. This is the opening of the Great Oak Park in Oakland, NJ!
There will be a nice ceremony that will take place at the approximately 250 year old white oak tree and afterwards, attendees are welcome to explore the park property and have a bite to eat courtesy of the Oakland Public Events Committee.
With all of the excitement and hustle and bustle surrounding the park’s opening, there are just a few things I want to make sure is clear and understood by all of you, the fellow fervent supporters also wanting to see a dog park in Oakland:
1. There is no dog park currently in Great Oak Park.
A dog park is part of the plan for the Great Oak Park but no approvals have been given from the town or the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). By the end of this year, the Park Committee hopes to hear official word whether a dog park as well as many of the other proposed projects, will be approved. If the permits are given, then work will start on fundraising, working with the town, etc. and trust me: you’ll know from me when that happens. In case permits are not given, I am currently exploring other possible alternatives so that progress and momentum do not come to a full stop.
2. At least for now, dogs are not allowed in Great Oak Park
Technically, the Borough’s ordinance governing all parks forbids dogs on and in town parks and that also applies for Great Oak Park. The Borough is working with the Great Oak Park Committee to change and update these rules but until you hear otherwise, no dogs please in the park.
3. WHEN dogs are likely allowed in the near future…
Dogs will be required to remain on leash throughout the entire park just like any other county or state parks that allow dogs. Also, as per local and state law, dog owners are required to pick up after their dogs in the event they “go”. Garbage cans will be scattered throughout the park so there should be no excuse to not pick up or to easily dispose of your dog’s waste. Please also know that this is also an important test: if dog owners are not picking up after their dogs, that may lead to a revoking of the change allowing dogs in the park and will stop any potential thought of allowing dogs to occupy any other Oakland parks in the future.
I hope to see you at the park opening on Sunday and Mike Guadagnino, the Great Oak Park Committee chairman, any of the Park Committee members or myself would be happy to help try and answer any questions you may have about the park as a whole or any dog related aspects of the park,including of course, the plan to build a dog park, so don’t be afraid to find us and ask questions and share your thoughts and comments. You can also email Mike at MikeGuad1@gmail.com if you are unable to attend the opening ceremony.
Dog Park for Oakland, NJ Founder
(c) 2021 Dog Park for Oakland, NJ
Founder, project leader and Oakland dog park advocate since March 2009. Now a college graduate wanting to complete his 8th grade project from Valley Middle School for the humans and dogs of his community.