WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Taking a stand on the loss of the seats

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Taking a stand on the loss of the seats

Record-Journal

STOLEN: Three benches from the Meriden Dog Park located on Beaver Lake Park, Hicks Avenue, Meriden.

How? When? Why?

I was under the impression that parks like the one at Beaver Lake were to be closed to the public at dusk, yet it continually shows signs of vandalism and mistreatment after the sun goes down, and it seems like nobody gives a damn. (Except those who do illegal things at the park after dusk.)

Friday morning, I took our pup Charlie to the Meriden Dog Park for his morning romp and was unpleasantly surprised to see that one of those expensive benches in the small dog park was missing.

I reported it. The next morning, there was another bench stolen. The following morning revealed a third bench had been stolen from the big dog park.

I notified Parks & Recreation Director Chris Bourdon about the missing benches, but still remain puzzled as to why so much vandalism can be done at a piece of city property that is supposed to be closed at dusk?

I am a huge fan of the Meriden Police Department and have supported them in any way I could over the years. But in this day and age when we no longer have foot patrols and just about all of the officers are assigned patrol cars, why can’t the closing of an area like Beaver Lake at dusk be enforced?

When night falls, it is being used as a place to party as well as a place to chow down on fast food. Garbage is left in the parking lot. One only has to take a ride through the park to see what I am talking about.

Since its inception, the Meriden Dog Park has had a favorable reception by the majority of dog owners in the area. Yet there are some who think that the rules posted on the entrance to the park are for others.

It took four long hard years for the Meriden Dog Park committee and the City of Meriden to come to terms on a proper location for the park. I know this to be a fact because my wife Edna chaired the committee.

The money for the Meriden Dog Park did not come out of the city coffers, but in the form of donations from local citizens, businesses and, especially, the Meriden Lions Club. Signs at the entrance list those who donated to the creation of the Meriden Dog Park and those who worked so hard to see it come to fruition.

But who bothers to read signs? They are for other people.

Before you enter the park, there is another sign that lists the rules and regulations. A lot of thought went into them. One of the most frequently broken is the rule that states “No children under the age of twelve allowed in the fenced in area.”

The reason for this was to protect small children from being accidentally mauled by a pet that gets out of hand. (This does occasionally happen.) I had a couple of irate parents get in my face over this rule, but I did not make the rules. The city wanted them posted to make it safer for everyone concerned.

Can you even imagine an angry parent telling me that their children were “being discriminated” because they were under the age of 12? In Meriden, we have only one dog park and numerous children’s playscapes. The parent also told me that rules were meant to be broken.

And now we find that some individuals have decided that it is all right for them to come into the Meriden Dog Park and take away the expensive benches that the volunteers worked so hard to purchase.

Yes, I do believe in our Meriden Police Department and the fine officers they have. On the other hand, if they are too busy with other lawbreakers, maybe our city fathers should consider hiring a couple of park rangers and let them do the night time patrolling of our city parks that are being vandalized.

The volunteers who worked so hard to see the formation of a Meriden Dog Park and those who donated money deserve some type of enforcement or, before long, the Meriden Dog Park will be nothing but a memory, like so many other places in Meriden. What a slap in the face this would be to all of the honest folks with pets who frequent the Meriden Dog Park.

If you are one of them, let your city councilor know how you feel about the Meriden Dog Park being vandalized by crooks under the cover of darkness. Enough is enough!

Fishing

The CT DEEP Inland Fisheries has been doing a remarkable job of stocking trout despite being hindered by the pandemic and having to forego another Opening Day of trout fishing. They have heavily stocked Mirror Lake in Hubbard Park.

Black Pond is still producing some nice catches of trout. I am surprised that I have not seen more boat fishermen on Black Pond.

Many of the more popular trout fishing locations have been stocked and, more than likely, they will all be stocked this coming week.

That’s it for now. Stay safe, and God Bless America and watch over our troops, police, firefighters and first responders wherever they may be serving this great country of ours.


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