Founders of the Stratford Dog Park and former Stratford residents, Matthew DeBernardo and Carissa DeBernarndo, organized a successful and peaceful rally for the Stratford Dog Park Monday evening before the April meeting of the Stratford Town Council. Over three years of hard work working with the Town and State of Connecticut, Mayor John Harkins announced to the Stratford Dog Park volunteers that a location has been found off Beacon Street, near the Stratford Animal Shelter
"We wanted to say a thank you for all of the volunteers who have donated their time and money to help our town over the past three eyars to get a dog park, and we are excited to say that a dog park has come to Stratford," Carissa DeBernardo said to over 70 residents and 40 dogs in attendance at the Town Hall steps.
The rally was organized to show public support for the Dog Park as a crucial deadline for a $7,000 grant from the Petco Foundation was drawing near. Over the three years, the Stratford Dog Park Action Committee has raised over $17,000 including the Petco grant that will be used to build fencing and maintain the park once installed, alleviating budgetary pressures on the Town of Stratford. Public and private partnerships are becoming a new vehicle for public service delivery.
"The Town of Stratford has many beautiful parks and beaches, and we are pleased to recommend a location for a dog park which will meet the demand of dog owners, while at the same time, carrying forward the intent and mission of the Greenway project. Kudos to the many dedicated volunteers who helped to get this grassroots effort, including a number of fundraisers, off the ground." Mayor Harkins wrote to Hamlethub.
Eight of the ten Town Councilmembers voted in favor of the Dog Park, with vocal support from Councilmembers James Connor, Craig Budnick, Paul Hoydick and Councilwoman Stephanie Phillips. Councilmen Peter Massey, Jason Santi, Matthew Catalano and Brian Dempsey also voted to support the establishment of the Dog Park Councilman Paul Hoydick also chairs Stratford's Park and Recreation Committee, which has been working with the dog park was relieved with the resolution. "I am glad to see the dog park come to a positive resolution," commented Councilman Hoydick after the vote.