Home Edison Sentinel Edison News Playground planned for children and pets at Edison dog park

Playground planned for children and pets at Edison dog park

Playground planned for children and pets at Edison dog park

BY KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

EDISON — As next month marks one year since the community-wide dog park opened, the goal is to make it a family-friendly atmosphere for all to enjoy.

And with the installation of dog playground equipment on April 27 and children playground equipment set to come this summer, Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholder Charles Tomaro said the dog park is becoming just that.

Tomaro joined Stuart Schlossman, chair of the dog park committee, to update the Metuchen Borough Council on details of the dog park at a meeting on May 1.

On May 6, the committee dedicated the dog playground equipment which was donated by Edison Township and Metro Centre Association of Realtors of Perth Amboy, which contributed a $2,500 grant for the equipment.

“I go by the park daily, even tonight [I saw] cars parked in the overflow parking lot [and saw] many dogs playing with the equipment,” said Tomaro. “[The playground equipment is] a great addition to the dog park.”

Nicole Banbor, chief executive officer of the Metro Centre Association of Realtors, said the community dog park is a “perk to many home buyers when searching for their next home.”

“It makes the area more appealing to current and future residents who are dog owners,” she said. “Area Realtors are supportive of this project because it has revitalized this property and it makes the neighborhood a better place to live.”

Tomaro and Schlossman said exciting things are happening at the park.

Last week an interpretive sign explaining the background of the site was installed.

From 1958 to 1970, the dog park site, 200 Whitman Ave., was owned by Chemical Insecticide Corp.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed a $53 million cleanup in 2005, removing 250,000 cubic tons of soil and restoring the site to residential safety standards.

Edison bought the property in 2008 for $1 million with money from the township’s Open Space Trust Fund and a state Green Acres grant.

A children’s playground is set to be installed in early summer through a grant from the Middlesex County Open Space Trust Fund.

Tomaro said 68 plants and trees have been installed around the 4.3-acre dog park, which now features a butterfly garden. In the future, he said the committee hopes to put a walking path around the exterior of the park for more people to enjoy the park.

In addition, an Eagle Scout from Boy Scout Troop 66 in Edison is working on putting a kiosk at the park.

Schlossman said Fred Hall, director of the Metuchen Department of Public Works (DPW), and members of the DPW as well as Abigail “Abby” Brooks and Lilith “Lily” Rebecca Hoover, the Girl Scout troop members instrumental in bringing a dog park to the area, helped install the dog playground equipment.

“Between the trees put in by the Edison DPW and the playground equipment that the Metuchen DPW has put in, [the park] is really looking nice and it hasn’t been open a year yet,” he said.

The park had opened on June 29, 2016.

Hoover said on June 3, a pet wellness event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the park. The event will offer free rabies shots for all dogs and cats provided by the Edison Department of Health and Human Services.

She said People For Animals, Inc. will be on hand offering vaccines at a very low cost and a multitude of different things. Also people can register for dog and cat licenses during the event.

Tomaro said on Sept. 11 there will be a pool day for the dogs at Woodside Swim and Tennis Club on Harding Avenue.

Mayor Peter Cammarano said the dog park is a fascinating study in cooperation among Edison, Metuchen and also Middlesex County.

“A lot of hard work and dedication did go into it on all parts and the cooperation between the three entities is continuing between maintenance and upkeep,” he said. “It is a great success and everyone is excited about the dog park.”

Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey said their dual-community dog park represents a true public-private partnership.

“Thanks to dog-lovers in our neighboring towns, to some dedicated volunteers and to supportive business leaders, we are re-opening our dog park with some terrific improvements,” he said.

Edison and Metuchen are sharing dog park maintenance duties including monitoring its use, mowing, pruning and trash collection.

Council President Ronald Grayzel said there was one last recognition he wanted to mention as he recognized Brooks and Hoover.

“Abby and Lilly you did it,” he said. His comments brought a round of applause from the people at the meeting.

The development of the park came to fruition through an initiative and persistence of Brooks and Hoover, who presented their idea as part of their Girl Scout Silver project in 2013.