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Work begins at Wallingford dog park

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WALLINGFORD — The Public Works Department cleared brush away from the Quinnipiac Street property Thursday to begin work on the town’s dog park.

The Wallingford Dog Lovers Association has been working to get a dog park built in town. The park will be built on a one-acre parcel with an existing town-owned parking lot near the Quinnipiac River.

The association has spent the past few months working with various town departments, including the Parks and Recreation Department.

Public Works will continue to remove brush on the property, said Parks and Recreation Director John Gawlak.

“Little by little, we’re making steps,” Gawlak said.

After the brush is removed and other landscaping work is done, public works employees will re-stripe the parking lot.

“I’d like to see the park completed by the end of the summer, but I know that’s in my wildest imagination,” said Tanya Bachand, a member of the Wallingford Dog Lovers Association said. “We’re just taking it one day at a time.”

Gawlak said completion of the dog park depends on how quickly the Wallingford Dog Lovers Association can raise money.

The group is waiting to receive confirmation from the Internal Revenue Services on its non profit status, according to Bachand.

Once the group receives non-profit status, Gawlak said a family has agreed to make a large donation.

The Wallingford Dog Lovers Association officials also hope to win an online contest with a $100,000 reward. The contest, organized by Petsafe, will also give out rewards to three runner-up cities.

The contest works on a voting system. The 15 municipalities with the highest vote totals — based on the percentage of population — will be named finalists on June 7, Bachand said. The finalists will have to put together a video and continue collecting votes.

“The winners for the last three years — their parks are just ridiculous,” Bachand said. “It’s off-the-charts beautiful.”

The group will host an event May 31 at the gazebo in downtown Wallingford, Bachand said. Members will be handing out information and pet owners can participate in a calendar contest. For a small fee, residents can submit a photo of their pet. The best photos will be chosen for a pet calendar, she said, which will be sold during Celebrate West Hartford.

To vote for Wallingford, visit (203) 317-2235 Twitter: @EricVoRJ

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