Fellow Dog Park Advocates and Supporters,
I first want to say that I am very excited and it gives me such joy to see that almost 500 people have liked this page. From family, friends, Oaklanders, former Oaklanders, and even people in towns surrounding Oakland, it is just amazing to see how so many people are all supportive of this effort that has taken place over the last 5 ½ years. It’s also amazing to think how much time flies in that just two years ago today, my mom passed away; and as my inspiration to start this project back in the 8th grade, her name shall continue to be attached to this project as seen in the logo.
As for the latest news, I will say that patience is still required from all of us as the park progress continues to move forward. From my posts,and posts from the Park Committee Chairman Mike Guadagnino, I’m sure you’ve read and seen that progress is occurring at a much faster and noticeable pace. The work the committee and volunteers are undertaking is nothing short of amazing. Existing asphalt is being exposed, boy scouts are creating walking trails, and companies have stepped forward at no cost to save trees and to trim trees on the property.
Please know that I hear those of you who are asking why the dog park is taking so long, and while I feel your frustration, I must remind you that there is a process and rules that need to be followed, and like the saying, good things take time. Right now, the park committee must accurately find out what is on the property in order to have accurate information when they apply for permits from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to do anything substantial (dog park, skate park, band shell, etc). So certain work must be done first to have accurate information that can then be sent for permits.This uncovering process is still underway but after that, the permitting process will take a few more months to complete. But hopefully in the fall or early winter, we’ll have some idea what’s going to happen at Great Oak Park. However, in the event that a dog park is ruled to not be feasible by the DEP, I have been proactive and have started to look for other possible locations so as to not hinder the momentum we’ve gained.
So let me be completely clear: I continue to make the Great Oak Park property my #1 focus and it is where I really think a dog park belongs. The Park Committee has been doing a spectacular job and they should be lauded and supported by the entire community. The Oakland Mayor and Council have also been very supportive and I am extremely thankful for that. But nothing can move forward until cleanup work is done on the property that will enable the committee to request permits for projects like the dog park to be completed. I ask for your support and your prayers as I continue this quest. Please know that while I may not have a lot of things to say over the next few months that I am constantly doing work to make this dog park a reality. Silence on my end does not mean inaction.
Thanks to all of you again!
(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.