FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
when will this park be built?
There are a few more steps before we will have a concrete timeline for the construction of this park. First the Braintree and Weymouth Town Councils need to write a letter to the Pond Meadow Board recommending a dog park be built within the Pond Meadow Park Grounds. The Braintree Town Council unanimously voted in support of this dog park on November 7, 2018. The Weymouth Town Council Meeting is currently TBD. Once both letters of recommendation are submitted, the Pond Meadow Board will be able to formally consider the matter and will vote on whether or not to approve the proposed location. After the location is secured, the Town can submit the grant application to the Stanton Foundation, where we hope to raise the majority of the funding needed to construct this park. The Stanton Foundation issues 10 grants a year with rolling approvals, so if we do not get it approved by the end of this year it will automatically roll into the beginning of next. Once the design process has begun we will have a better idea of when to expect to formally break ground. We will add a project timeline to this website once it becomes official.
What about putting it in the park in my neighborhood? It isn’t used and a dog park would be great there!
When selecting a location for this dog park, we had very strict criteria that we needed to follow which ruled out most existing neighborhood parks in Braintree. Find out the specifics of how we came to choose Pond Meadow Park as the best location in Braintree here.
will trees be removed for the construction of this dog park?
We plan to construct a natural canopy dog park, which is a little different than an open field dog park where all the trees are removed. In an open canopy dog park, many of the trees remain in place while the underbrush and lower branches are removed to allow unimpeded access to the area. Inevitably, we will have to remove some trees in a strategic manner while allowing as many to remain in place as possible. We will plant a new tree for every tree removed. Since the planning for the park design can not begin until a location is chosen, we will have more information about exactly what this entails further along in the process.
what will the park hours be?
The current proposal for the dog park will have it close 30 minutes prior to the Pond Meadow Park entrance so there are no stragglers as the Pond Meadow Rangers close the gate. The Pond Meadow hours of operation are from 9am-7pm in summer and 9am-5pm in winter. This will mean the summer hours of operation will be from 9am-6:30pm. The dog park will not be open from December through February.
who Will responsible for cleaning up the dog poop?
Dog owners are responsible for cleaning up after their own pets waste. There will be adequate dog poop bag dispensers and waste receptacles throughout the park which will be refilled regularly. Find out more about our park maintenance plan here.
who is responsible for patrolling the dog park?
The park will be routinely patrolled by the Dog Officers of Braintree and Weymouth. The Pond Meadow Rangers will not be responsible for patrolling the dog park.
what happens in the case a dog fight or incident occurs?
Ultimately, dog owners bear the sole responsibility for the behavior of their pets. They know their animals and must take steps to mitigate dangerous situations and remove their pets from the area when necessary. That said, occasionally situations escalate quickly leaving limited reaction time. During emergency situations, park goers can call the Braintree Police Dispatch and they will have the Braintree Dog Officer respond.
Can the town be sued in the event of a dog fight?
When selecting the location for this dog park, we were very careful to only consider locations that are zoned “Open Space” as dictated by MGL Chapter 21, Section 17c. This zoning removes liability from the town in the case that an incident occurs. This is standard for local dog parks, such as the Randolph Dog Park and Stoddards Neck.
will this dog park disturb the neighbors?
We have chosen a location that has relatively few neighbors and will have a large buffer between the dog park and the nearest residences. Additionally, the park will only be open during daylight hours, so there will be no noise to disturb anyone once the park closes 30 minutes prior to the Pond Meadow main entrances. That said, ensuring the neighbors are amenable to the proposal is paramount. Not only do we have dog park members who live adjacent to the park helping us with our efforts, but they have reached out to their neighbors on our behalf and have not brought any outstanding issues to our attention.
will the highway be visible to the dog park?
While the highway is nearby, we plan to place this park further in so that the highway is not visible from the park and incorporate creative solutions to mitigate it’s impact on park goers. One solution is to incorporate strategic tree plantings to reinforce the natural buffer that already exists while simultaneously creating a sound barrier from any noise pollution that might filter through the trees. This issue will be further addressed once we are further along in this process and the park design planning commences.
what about the summer childrens program located within pond meadow?
While conducting the various walkthroughs of the proposed location, we made sure to include Pond Meadow Park Ranger Sean Cleaves since he knows the area better than anyone. Ranger Sean is also the Director of the Children’s Summer Program. He has expressed to our team that he feels there is a way to accommodate both the children’s program and the dog park within the area during the summer months that the children’s program is active. While the specifics have not been sorted out, we are also confident that we can find a way to make this space satisfactory to safely accommodate both groups.
What about the leash laws?
Before the dog park opens, the Braintree Town Council will need to amend the current leash laws to allow an exception for dogs to be allowed off-leash within the designated enclosed space of the Braintree Dog Park.
I feel blindsided BY your proposal! please don’t destroy pond meadow!
We are sorry if you feel surprised after learning about this project. We have been diligently working on figuring out all the details for the last year and a half and have been engaging the public at every opportunity to spread the word. We have held numerous public meetings, had booths at local events, farmer’s markets and craft fairs, and collected petition signatures at various locations within both Braintree and Weymouth. We have taken the constructive feedback from our public encounters to try and ensure that we create a plan that accounts for all the different issues involved in this project. Additionally, we have taken time along the way to engage the Pond Meadow Board, the Pond Meadow Park Rangers, the Braintree and Weymouth Dog Officers and Chiefs of Police and both Mayors to ensure we do our due diligence for this project.
We would all agree that Pond Meadow Park is one of the crown jewels of Braintree. Pond Meadow is 320 acres. The dog park is an acre and a half. We’re not planning on destroying the park for the sake of the dog park - just putting up some fencing and allocating a small portion of the park for a different use.