by Margo Callaghan
It was a celebration befitting man’s best friend. The formal ribbon cutting ceremony for the Shelburne Village Dog Park took place on site at the Harbor Road location last Saturday morning. Representatives from the town’s Selectboard joined the volunteer members of the Shelburne Dog Park Committee, residents and, of course, their dogs, to celebrate the opening – though the Park has been welcoming dogs and their owners since last November. According to Committee Chair Sara Blum, “the grand opening was a rousing success! The feedback we’re getting from residents has been tremendously positive and judging by the wagging tails, the dogs are very happy, too.”
Both pooches and their people have every right to be happy. The Park’s opening represented the culmination of hundreds of hours of volunteer effort. The project began with the collection of feedback from the initial town-wide survey conducted in the fall of 2009. The three-acre park became a well designed reality, combining woodland and open field, with wide paths defined by wood chips, making access easy for humans and dogs. It has a two-gate entry area, enabling owners to bring their dogs to the park and through the first gate on leash, then take off the leash and go through the second gate into the park.
Following the ribbon cutting, the party moved off site, just up the road to the Shelburne Community School, where events continued. Moe’s Southwest Grill offered up people snacks, and many businesses in town donated gifts as raffle prizes. The “grand prize” was a Shelburne Village Dog Park gift basket loaded with items donated by Ark Vet, Shelburne Museum, Tractor Supply and other local businesses. The basket was won by Peg Roseneau of Shelburne.