HYANNIS â It was dogs galore Saturday at the grand opening of the Barnstable dog park. From small to large, short-haired to fluffy, the park was packed and filled with energy as canines ran and played.
âI didnât think we would get this kind of response,â said Elaine Grace, president of the Friends of the Barnstable Dog Park. âItâs amazing.â
The Friends group ran the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the park, located at 1431 Phinneyâs Lane, took place Oct. 31.
The dog park at Hathawayâs Pond is a private-public partnership between the town of Barnstable and the Friends of Barnstable Dog Park, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization.
The grand opening debuted the new space, and offered educational materials, dog treats, and food samples for those who showed up.
Planning for the park began in 2011, Grace said.
âIt was seven long years coming but it was absolutely worth waiting for,â she said.
Grace attributed the wait to picking the best location and administrative and permit woes.
Funding for the park came partially from the Stanton Foundation â which contributed about $225,000Â â and the Friends of the Barnstable Dog Park, which raised about $42,000, Grace said.
Now that the park is open, the Friends group is looking for volunteers and continuing to raise funds to cover the cost of park maintenance, she said.
The park features three fenced sections including a training area, a big-dog area and a small-dog area.
âI think itâs great,â said Lori Coppinger, who was there with her dog Max. âIt is great to get the energy out.â
A favorite feature is that it is fenced in, said Coppinger, who normally doesnât trust her dog off-leash.
âHeâs enjoying it,â she said, adding that she and Max will definitely return. âItâs the exercise that he needs.â
One perk to having a community dog park is that Barnstable residents donât have to travel to Yarmouth or Mashpee to let their dogs roam and play.
âItâs a lot of fun,â said Shawn Manfredo, who was there with his dog Sloane. âAll the new smells, all the new friends.â
Previously, the pair would travel to the Yarmouth dog park, but theÂ the new location is much more convenient, he said.
Rachel Monteiro and Tracy Ferrie, visiting with their dog Fynn, agree.
âWe like it and we like the location,â Monteiro said, which allows her to drop by and let Fynn get his energy out.
âI enjoy meeting dogs,â Ferrie said. âItâs better than watching TV.â
It’s also a way to make friends, Monteiro added.
There is a large senior citizen population in the area, and the dog park offers them a place to exercise their dogs and socialize with other people, Grace said.
âItâs good for people and good for their dogs,â she said. âItâs a win-win.â
âÂ Follow Beth Treffeisen on Twitter @BTreffeisenCCT.