By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Northborough – Thanks to a single donor, residents of Northborough will soon have a new fenced dog park at the Yellick Conservation Area on Hudson Street. The town needed to raise $16,300 to receive a matching grant through the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Fiscal Year 2020 Partnership Matching Funds Program.
“We have reached our matching state grant goal of $16,300 with one single donation by the Del Re Family,” announced Northborough Recreation Director Allie Lane via Facebook. “The town of Northborough cannot thank you enough.”
“We have also raised $1,800 from many other residents and non-residents who are so excited for this great cause,” she added. “We need to continue raising more funds in order to fix the driveway/parking lot and to add equipment inside the dog park area for our dogs to play with.”
Northborough was selected to receive this award (after applying for several projects on behalf of the Trails Committee), which encourages appropriate recreational uses on state-owned land.
The town worked collaboratively several years ago with a citizen group to identify appropriate public land upon which to site a dog park, but was unable to find a suitable location. The one site that appeared to be an excellent match for a dog park was the Yellick Conservation Area on Hudson Street. However, DCR policy at the time prohibited such uses.
“Based upon significant public interest, a policy review was conducted and DCR is now not only allowing such projects, but is actually incentivizing them,” conservation agent Mia McDonald noted.
According to McDonald, “The town is preparing the payment to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to meet the Sept. 6 deadline. Once DCR receives the initial funds, the town will be assigned a project manager to create the final project design and schedule.”
Going forward, the town will be responsible for funding the maintenance of the dog park.
Donations can still be made to support future costs in person at the Northborough Recreation Department, by mail at the Northborough Town Hall, 63 Main St., Northborough, MA 01532, online at www.northboroughrecreation.com or by phone 508-393-5034.