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Hillsborough finalist in PetSafe Unleashed Contest

Residents can vote through Nov. 30.


Do you want a dog park at Willow Park Road?

If so, Hillsborough Township officials are asking for your vote in the PetSafe Unleashed contest that will award $50,000 to the community with the most votes.

Hillsborough is the only community from New Jersey to make the semi-final round now competing among finalists across the United States.

The proposed dog park at Willow Road will be friendly for all dogs, will include a separate small-breed area, and permanent play and agility structures, according to its contest entry.

“Hillsborough Township prides itself on the constant development and beautification of its parks and open space,” the entry begins.

“Residents, not only within the township, but from surrounding communities in Somerset County and north-western New Jersey come to Hillsborough parks for the high-quality services, programs, and space we offer. “

Two recent examples include a Yoga for All series that will kick off in spring 2024, and feature a six-week inclusive yoga series including bilingual yoga, family yoga, golden age gentle yoga and intro to meditation, recovery is possible yoga, and others, as well as an Art in the Park program which will be led by a local New Jersey artist and feature a competition of sidewalk art inspired by the Italian street art festival Madonnari at the township’s Ann Van Middlesworth Park, according to the township’s entry.

Hillsborough currently runs one dog park at Ann Van Middlesworth Park, which opened in 2015.

“Our existing dog park is suited for large breeds, and features vast open space dedicated to our four-legged friends,” the entry says.

“Our goal is to provide dog parks that offer local pups a place for play, leisure, agility training, socialization, fresh air and exercise.”

The dog park at Ann Van Park does not offer many play or agility structures, and those that do are not small-breed friendly. The space is fenced, and the majority of the acreage is open land.

Hillsborough Township is answering the call of local residents who want an upgraded dog park that is friendly to small dogs and large dogs alike and one that has a dedicated space for smaller breeds.

“Willow Park is Hillsborough’s premiere park and investing in a state-of-the-art dog park has been on residents’ wish lists for a long time. The Hillsborough community loves its parks and adores its dogs.”

The township is home to locally owned pet supply stores as well as Belle Mead Animal Hospital and Amwell Animal Rescue Group, SAVN Tails, and People for Pets rescue, which promote animal welfare and hold various adoption events locally and throughout the tri-state area.

PetSafe Unleashed is a national contest where one lucky community will win a dream park, a PetSafe Unleashed Dog Park – a place where pets and people can come together to spread the joy and share the love with wagging tails, smiling faces and new friends every day, according to its website.

As part of the program, they will also be selecting 25 previous Bark for Your Park winners to receive a PetSafe Unleashed upgrade to their existing dog parks.

Residents can vote through Nov. 30. For more information visit

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