Opinion: Johnson Park trails would be appropriate for off-leash dogs

Rebecca Nowalski
Loki, owned by Chris Tryon of North Brunswick, fetches his toy at the dog park in Community Park on July 16.

We support an off-leash dog park in Princeton.

We moved here in the fall of 2021 from Boston and have two golden retrievers. There is a wooded area in Johnson Park (white and red trails) that are somewhat rugged that would be a perfect area for dogs to be off leash. The paved areas of the park would remain on-leash.

To support this, the town can have off-leash dog owners purchase a yearly permit along with the annual dog tags, and have them sign a liability waiver. Additionally, they should encourage owners to curb their dogs before they take them off leash in the white or red trails, and of course re-leash the dog once off those trails.

This format has worked very well in Boston at Hale reservation and in Rocky Woods.

Trash bins and poop bags are also placed close to the trail before going off leash.
Building a dog park may incur a cost the town may not support. By having the white and red trails off leash, having a permit purchase, and placing a trash bin at the end of the paved driveway at the start of the white trail by the lake house, would bring revenue.

It would make a large population of dog owners very happy, not to mention happy dogs.
It is my hope that the Princeton Council seriously considers this idea.

Claudia Cabanas