In an announcement on Facebook today, The Village Of Babylon revealed that the George Street Dog Park as well as the Locust Ave park will close in September when the new dog parks on Park Ave open.
Locals have noted the construction of two dog parks north of the basketball courts on Park ave. The small dog park abuts the Grade School parking lot and the larger one is a little further north by the entrance to the trails that lead to Southards Pond. These parks should be open to the public starting September 6th.
The George Street Dog Park became a bone of contention last year when some residents of Whaler’s Cove complained to the Village Board. People who had moved into units close to a dog park seemed surprised that they could hear dogs barking. Babylon Village code enforcement and the SCPD were called several times to report this crime.
Some concessions were made to the anti-Dog Park contingent. The park was locked every night at dusk and unlocked in the morning at 8am. This did not satisfy these residents and a petition was made to the Village Board to close the park. Alternatives to the complete closure of the park were offered, including putting up a fence to block the noise and moving the park further away, but none of these were deemed acceptable.
At Village Board meetings in December and January, Village residents and other users of the George Street Park spoke in passionate defense of the park. Despite this, Mayor Adams decided to shutter the park during an evening work session. Three of the four Village trustees voted to go along with the closure. Only Deputy Mayor Frank Seibert, in a rare dissent, disagreed.
The original plan was to expand the Locust Ave Dog Park and close the George Street Park in the spring. As many residents noted, the Locust Ave location is not suitable for the purpose and work never got started on that plan. The George Street park remained open and dog lovers were left to wonder what was going on.
In the intervening months, the main anti-Dog Park agitator moved out of Whaler’s Cove and things seemed to calm down quite a bit at George Street. Then, work started on the new parks and Villagers were left to wonder if the George Street park would remain open. The answer to that question came today. George Street Dog Park will close.
The new parks are, in many ways, superior to George Street. They are more centrally located and there is adequate parking. Hopefully the Village will put in plumbing so our pooches can have some water.
But for the people who have used this park for years, building up a community of dogs and friends, this is a sad day. And for those who live by George Street, especially those in Whaler’s Cove, this is removing an important amenity for no good reason.