Barking for a dog park in the village


Dogs could have a reason to wag their tails in Rockville Centre.

Members of the RVC Conservancy presented their case for a dog park to the village board of trustees at the March 3 briefing session.

Representing the Conservancy were Mary Beth Croutier and Ashley Brennan. Croutier does not have a dog, while Brennan has a 2-year-old half-Border Collie, half-Labrador mix. “My puppy needs to run,” said Brennan. “He’s very active and… needs to be off leash to run around.”

Croutier and Brennan proposed two locations — one in Hempstead Lake State Park, across from Fountain Avenue, the other in Morgan Days Park between the basketball court and the baseball field.

“Technically we’re open to anywhere,” said Brennan. “Those were the two spots that came up in discussion that wouldn’t be expecting other community activities… Those are two locations that we found could be suitable, but if [the village] had other suggestions we would definitely take it.”

Dogs are allowed in some areas of Hempstead Lake State Park but they have to stay on leash. Morgan Days is behind the AvalonBay apartment complex. Avalon already has a dog park for its residents.

Croutier and Brennan spoke to contractors about what building a dog park would cost. They based their estimates on the Hempstead Lake location, which is much bigger than Morgan Days. They contacted other dog parks, LI Dog and the League of Yes for advice and suggestions on how to build and maintain a dog park.

They also talked about raising money for a dog park through sponsorships, grants and advertising from local businesses. Other ideas for raising funds included branded poop bags and a dog parade. “These are just ideas for a fundraiser,” said Brennan. “Nothing has been planned. Mary Beth [doesn’t] want to start collecting a dime until we know this is something we can accomplish.”

Other components of a dog park include registering dogs, a sign with the rules and cleaning the area. “The issue we need to solve is with the owners are usually pretty good about cleaning up after themselves,” said Trustee Ed Oppenheimer. “You basically have to send somebody once a day to pick up waste bags. At least once a day.”

Croutier also talked about using a card or a key code to keep the area only available to residents. “I would love to see our residents only in this place — locked,” said Mayor Francis X. Murray during the presentation. “I don’t want anyone going in there without a dog or someone from another village. That’s just my opinion.”

The trustees agreed to get together this month and look at the proposed sites. If you are interested in helping with plans for a dog park, you can email