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Nashua may get downtown dog park

By Adam Urquhart - Staff Writer | Jul 12, 2019

NASHUA – Dogs may soon be running and playing in a new downtown park, the creation of which would take place under the auspices of the Animal and Dog Park Advisory Committee.

“The idea here is to form a committee to advise the city about issues pertaining to animals, and primary among those would be the potential establishment of a downtown dog park to supplement the dog park we have down in the southwest,” Mayor Jim Donchess said.

By “southwest,” Donchess referred to the Nashua Dog Park at 1 Groton Road. Opened in 2012, that park is a three-acre home away from home for dogs and their human companions.

The park has an open grassy field and a large wooded area for dogs to run and play off-leash.

However, Donchess envisions the downtown park to be of a slightly different model. Instead of having a closed membership with membership fees, the downtown version could be open to anyone – without user fees.

During Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting, members voted for final passage of Ordinance 19-047, establishing an Animal and Dog Park Advisory Committee. Rules for the potential park would be established by the committee.

“I think it’s a great example of a public and private partnership, when people in Nashua step forward to volunteer, and they want to help address situations in our community to make them better,” Alderman Tom Lopez said. “I think it’s something we need to support.”

Membership on the committee will consist of these seven members: the Animal Control officer, a representative from the Humane Society for Greater Nashua, an alderman appointed by the BOA president, and four community members appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the BOA.

Amber Logue led efforts to establish the committee. While she emphasized plans are still preliminary, the piece of property being eyed is in a large open field on the left behind W.H. Bagshaw Co. Inc. and Ultima Nimco in the area of Pine Street Extension.

She said the reason for picking that specific parcel of land is because it naturally just happens to meet three requirements needed for an animal park:

• Parking,

• Ease of accessibility, and

• Far enough away from residents who may complain about barking.

“It’s very exciting for our residents, both human and canine,” Logue said.

Waste Concerns

Despite the exciting part of the discussion being the dog park, Logue emphasized the importance of education around proper disposal of animal waste. She believes one of the reasons a public dog park is not yet available is due to concerns about dog waste.

“There’s a huge lack of education currently as to why it is important – how you properly dispose of it,” Logue said of dog waste. “After speaking with (New Hampshire) Department of Environmental Services, as well as our engineers here for city sewage, it is come to our attention more so that we could do a lot more, but who is going to do it?”

That is why officials wanted to develop the Animal Advisory Committee. Logue said the committee would help to educate the public. She said there will be a heavy focus on education to reduce contaminants in the watershed, soil and waterways.

Adam Urquhart may be contacted at 594-1206, or at aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.


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