BY ETHAN FORMAN STAFF WRITER
The Salem News
---- — DANVERS — Proponents of a place where Rover can run free are more than halfway to their goal of raising an estimated $30,000 for the construction of the Danvers Dog Park in a portion of Endicott Park on Forest Road.
Since the summer, a group called the Friends of Danvers Dog Park has been active planning; figuring out regulations for use; and raising money for fencing, a path, shrubbery, benches and signs. The group has raised more than $17,000 so far, said Carla King, president of the Friends of Danvers Dog Park.
The dog park would be a place where canines can run unfettered. While many town parks, including Endicott Park, welcome dogs on a leash, there are no public spaces in Danvers where dogs can run off-leash.
The dog park would be built in a far corner of an overflow parking area in Endicott Park. It’s a field adjacent to the walkway called Dean’s Lane. The exact dimensions of the park have not been worked out, Recreation Director David Mountain said, but he said it will include a portion of the field and some woods, which also includes a stone wall.
Mountain said the off-leash dog park will complement Endicott Park, which is already used by dog walkers.
Residents have been working since 2009 to create the dog park, and last year, selectmen approved the plan to locate it at Endicott Park.
A construction committee headed up by resident Dutch Norden, who runs a construction company, is investigating how much it will cost to build the park. The committee is seeking estimates for such things as the cost of black, 8-foot-tall chain-link fencing for three sides of the enclosure and paddock fencing along the front, King said. How much the park will cost will depend on its size.
After Thanksgiving, King said she plans to meet with Mountain and Chief Ranger Dave Townley on future dog park plans. With the park proposed for land in a historic district, the plan had to win preliminary approval of the Historic District Commission. Proponents must go back to the commission for approval of the final location and dimensions, Mountain said.
Salem has an off-leash dog park along the North River, with its use governed by dog owners obtaining a yearly “Pooch Pass” through Salem’s Park, Recreation and Community Services Department. Last year, Beverly opened Paddles’ Park, a dog park built on land adjacent to Beverly Municipal Airport, for resident dog owners who obtain a special tag.
The Danvers Dog Park is privately funded on town-owned land, Mountain said.
To support its construction, the Friends of Danvers Dog Park are holding a comedy night fundraiser tonight at 8 at Timothy’s at the Village Green, 225 Newbury St. (Route 1), Danvers. Comedians performing are Dave Rattigan, Jimmy Dunn, Jessica Casciano and Kyle Crawford. Tickets are $25 at the door.
If you want to support the dog park, you may also send a check payable to “Friends of Danvers Recreation Inc.,” with a memo line that reads “Friends of Danvers Dog Park,” to P.O. Box 165, Danvers MA 01923. Donations to the park through the Friends of Danvers Recreation are tax-deductible.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.