Brookfield residents are , an off-leash dog park. The renewed effort has a new target location, , and is looking to gather support before a crucial Board of Selectmen’s (BOS) meeting.
Organizers attempted the same project last year and were to build on open space near the Gurski Homestead, however the on the grounds that the park might “compromise the preservation of the buildings.”
Keith Wolff, one of the original organizers, vowed to look for a new spot and try again. Wolff teamed up with Lisa Allan, a Brookfield resident who owns a dog walking, grooming and training business, and met with the Conservation Commission earlier this month, where they were given approval to try again with Happy Landings.
“Their criteria was something that from a topography standpoint was good, had good drainage and was in a central location in town,” Wolff said, stating that the front section of Happy Landings met all of those and the Commission voted unanimously to recommend it as the location.
The park would be a fenced-in area, just shy of 1 acre, near the property’s frontage on Whisconier Road, to the right of the parking lot.
“You go there at any time and there are always people walking their dogs,” Allan noted of the popular walking spot. “If anything, this will help with the dog waste,” as it will be confined to a specific area with strict rules about removal.
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The next step is to gain the approval of the BOS, which will consider the proposal at their June 4 meeting.
Before that, Wolff and Allan want to put together an official committee to oversee fundraising, construction and future maintenance of the park. To that end, they’ve scheduled .
(Supporters who cannot attend can also sign the online petition.)
“The meeting is only for supporters,” Allan said, as the goal is to bring together anyone that would like to volunteer, from fundraising to labor to sitting on the committee.
“Our focus is to get this thing going,” Wolff said. “The proper venue for those that don’t support it is the Board of Selectmen’s meeting.”
Wolff was hopeful that the BOS and community would support the Happy Landings decision.
“It’s taken quite awhile to find the right location,” he said, “But we’re comfortable with it, the town’s comfortable with it — it’s a good location.”
Going by construction expenses from parks built in nearby towns, such as New Milford, building Kanine Kingdom is expected to cost between $20,000 and $25,000, plus a “nominal ongoing maintenance budget” for trash hauling and needed repairs, Wolff explained.
If the organization of supporters and fundraising goes smoothly, Wolff and Allan hope to have the fence up and the park open as early as next spring.
“If we can complete the fundraising this year into early next year, putting up the fencing will take less than a week,” Wolff said. “I think if we can start aggressively fundraising in June, it’s feasible.”