DANBURY, Conn. -- Tara Rudinski is thrilled to soon bring her three dogs -- Remy, Polly and Lily -- to Danbury's first unleashed dog park, which will be opening this fall at 76 Miry Brook Road near the airport.
"It will be nice for my dogs to socialize with other dogs while I talk to their owners," said Rudinski of Brookfield, adding that she has several friends with dogs and would love to meet up with them at the park.
On Tuesday, about 20 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the dog park, including Mayor Mark Boughton and City Council President Joe Cavo.
"This was an idea that has long been needed in Danbury. We are really excited about this park," said Boughton.
The 2.1-acre park, which will be open year-round, will consist of separate, gated areas for large and small dogs. It will be entirely fenced in, contain water spigots and include 16 parking spaces on site.
The site was previously part of the Danbury Municipal Airport. Funding for the park was approved by the City of Danbury's Open Space and Recreation Bond.
According to Cavo, the cost of the entire project was less than $200,000. The land was purchased with a Federal Aviation Administration Grant.
"Unleashed dog parks give people who live in condos and apartments a place to have their dogs exercise. In addition, it provides a place where the elderly, handicapped and infirm can bring their dogs to exercise without them having to do it with them," said Cavo. Currently, the two closest unleashed dog parks in the area are in Ridgefield and Southbury.
"The energy that dogs can get out of being with each other is a different kind of energy than they get when they play with people," said Amanda Garrison of New Milford, Dog Program Chair at the Danbury Animal Welfare Society in Bethel. "A dog park also provides a nice opportunity for dogs who are the only dogs in their household to get out and make some friends."
Rudinski added, however, that "Unleashed doesn't mean unsupervised.
"Dog owners should always be vigilant and on alert to how their dog is interacting with other dogs," she said, adding that doing so will make the park a nice place for all dogs and their owners.