SAUGUS — The town will convert a playground into a family friendly dog park by removing and renovating current play structures to ensure they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
There is currently electricity at the park; however, a water plan needs to be implemented so dogs can drink water and so there is a water source to wash down certain areas. Having an acre of land in this new capacity allows for access for both small and large dogs. Stocker Playground is also near schools and the Lynnhurst neighborhood, making it an ideal location.
The area for the big dogs will take the place of where the current basketball and tennis courts are, and the area for the small dogs will be where the baseball field is, closest to the marsh. Two runs will also be placed in this area for slightly more aggressive dogs that might not do well with other dogs. These runs have been designed to be big enough to throw a ball, so they can still safely exercise.
The dog park will be funded by 501c3 fundraising and the already existing amenities will be kept intact, along with the addition of new key components. The parking lot will be filled with new gravel, in addition to what is already there.
Drinking fountains will be added as a water source to fill up water dishes for dogs, and the baseball field will also have a source of water as part of its upkeep and maintenance.
Riverside condominiums that exist within this surrounding area will be the least affected by the creation of this park, because it is at the back of the property and Riverside is the farthest away. Only two houses on Stoker Street would be in close proximity to the dog park. The rest of the existing houses are across the street.
Lights will be added for security purposes. Taxpayers’ money will be put toward this conversion, and within the next month the leg work for a nonprofit will start to be put into place.
“This is a great addition, and will move the town forward,” said Town Manager Scott Crabtree.
Magella Cantara can be reached at [email protected].