BY KATELYN CORDERO
Suffern– Dakota the Poodle trotted through the mulch with her puffy pink tail wagging back and forth taking in her surroundings at the grand opening of the Ramapo Dog Park this Sunday.
The park has been built in place of the old blue house where the Rampo Department of Parks and Recreation was located. After the department moved their office to Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomons, the house was torn down and in its place is a fenced in area for dogs to run free and play.
The mulch-covered fenced in area cost the town $40,000, according to Michelle Antosca, director of Ramapo Parks and Recreation. The fence was put in nearly two months ago, but the mulch was delivered and the park was assembled earlier this month due to setbacks from pooor weather conditions in the area.
Among those in the crowd was a timid german shepherd named Rozalita, calmly sitting next to her owner Ramapo Dog Control Officer Cathy McGrath. Razalita is blind, but that didn’t stop her from making some friends at the park.
“This park will bring so many people together,” McGrath said. “This gives us so many socialization opportunities, the typical house dog’s world is so small, this opens it up for them.”
Nearly 35 owners and their four legged friends showed up to celebrate the opening of the park. To keep owners and dogs at ease the area is separated into three different spaces. Only dogs under 30 pounds are permitted into the first section, dogs 60 pounds and above are permitted into the third section and any sized dog is allowed in the the middle section of the gated area.
Jeremy and Justin Silber brought their dogs Gracie and Gertie to make friends at the opening.
“I’m glad we have a local park to bring the dogs now,” Justin Silber said. “We used to have to go to Kakiak or Ridgewood but this is great to be able to come to.”
All the dog owners agreed the park is a welcomed addition to the town, a place they can bring their kids to play on the playground and their dogs to play in the park.
“I want to thank the town board for approving the proposal to create this park,” said Antosca. “This park is open for everyone in the community, we hope everyone will follow the rules and has safe fun with their four legged friends.”