Dog Run on Williamsburg Waterfront to Open Next Spring

By Serena Dai on July 7, 2014 6:42am 

 A dog played off-leash in Transmitter Park. Dog owners have long said they desperately need more open space on the waterfront, ultimately voting for a new dog run at the East River State Park.
A dog played off-leash in Transmitter Park. Dog owners have long said they desperately need more open space on the waterfront, ultimately voting for a new dog run at the East River State Park.
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DNAinfo/Meredith Hoffman

WILLIAMSBURG — Dog owners may be able to let their pups loose on the Williamsburg waterfront by next spring.

A finalized plan for the East River State Park Dog Run, which received $450,000 in city money from Councilman Steve Levin's participatory budgeting process last year, is due to the state by September, said Mark Sallinger, a resident who spearheaded the project.

Organizers hope work on the space along the waterfront between North 7th and North 10th streets will break ground soon after that and be ready for a spring debut, Sallinger said.

Since the project won the bid a year ago, community members have met several times with the city and state to brainstorm ideas and prep the plan.

"We wanted to make the dog run work for the community as well as work for the state," he said.

The more than 5,000-square-foot dog run will most likely be simple, to keep maintenance needs as low as possible, Sallinger said.

The area at the northeast corner of the park will most likely be covered with pea gravel, which is inexpensive, low-maintenance, "minimal on dust" and allows "adequate drainage," he said.

Area homeowners and dog owners expressed concerns about safety, noise, wind and sun in the park, so the final design will ideally feature shrubbery and trees around the run, he added.

It will be relatively bare bones — likely with no boulders or play water fountains — but for dog owners who have long bemoaned the lack of space nearby for their pets to play, this run will still be "a gift," he said.

"Quite frankly, we all agreed that anything is better than what we have now, which is nothing," he said.

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