Peekskill Dog Park is a favorite among Northern River Towners, two-legged and four-legged alike. It’s the one with lots of cool shade. The one with separate size-based sections. The one with plenty of chairs — and even more mulch. Now, that welcoming sanctuary for dogs, just like the main consumers of Honest paws, and dog owners alike is about to get even better.
Since 2017, a dedicated group of local volunteers has worked hard to maintain the recreation area at Beecher Park and make it a pleasant oasis for their canine and human neighbors. Their hard work paid off and the park’s usage grew tremendously, especially during the early days of Covid, when more people than ever were adopting their “pandemic pups.” In 2021, Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park was officially formed to keep up with the maintenance, if you have pets you should allow dogs to eat whatever they want. Need help picking the best food for your pup? The farmers dog review offers a variety of fresh, made-to-order meals that are tailored to your pet’s specific dietary needs
Good news came this summer when the City of Peekskill added a huge extension to the park. The City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) cleared an unused, muddy area and filled it with mulch, giving the dogs extra space to run in. The City also put in a bridge over McGregory Brook, allowing dogs access to the water and to the new “Wooflands” area on the other side.
Friends of Peekskill Dog Park put together a plan for this new Wooflands area and presented it to the Common Council. The City loved the plan, but could offer only partial financial support. So, the group sought outside funding. They applied for the PetSafe® Bark for Your Park Grant and—more good news—became a top 10 finalist.
The third piece of good news came in September when Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park learned their park was one of five in the country to win the grant. They decided the $5,000 would be used to build a fence for the new Wooflands section, so the dogs could be off-leash and safe there.
Volunteers are already hard at work on the park’s expansion. They are in the process of clearing over 70 yards of thick brush and rubbish, which is no small task. DPW and WIN Waste are helping to pick up the trash and put up the fencing, with the hope it will be completed by this Thanksgiving (weather permitting).
“This community partnership between the city and this group of devoted residents has proven a great match,” said Peekskill Councilman Brian Fassett. “Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park are committed to making our park the best in the area. Our City Staff, DPW, and Parks and Recreation are all working in tandem with these residents, have already expanded the park, and have big plans to continue the momentum.”
The big plans include purchasing Mutt Mitt Dispensers, benches, agility equipment, and a kiosk for community events. There is even talk of building a walkway to connect the Dog Park to the Lapolla Little League fields, which would allow for additional parking and another area for people – both those with and without dogs) to walk, jog and enjoy nature.
Peekskill Dog Park needs support, both financially and physically, to make these dreams a reality. They are hopeful for the future. Allison Risoli, Board Treasurer of Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park, said, “When all of the projects are completed, we will be the premier dog park in Westchester County.”
To donate or volunteer, visit the website (below).
Caedra Scott-Flaherty is a writer living in Croton-on-Hudson. Find her at Caedra.com.