There won’t be an off-leash dog park at the Boutwell Road Cemetery site.
After The Friends of the Stillwater Area Dog Park’s proposal for an off-leash dog park at the Boutwell Road Cemetery site passed through the Stillwater Parks Commission in February, it stalled in the joint commission this week.
A tie vote (2-2) Wednesday night by the joint commission resulted in the dog park proposal at the Boutwell site being declined, said Allison McGinnis, president of the Friends of the Stillwater Area Dog Park. But that doesn’t mean the proposal was defeated—it’s a step in a different direction.
“We remain positive even though it was a setback,” McGinnis said. “We have support and will continue discussions with the city of Stillwater and we are actively researching alternative site options.”
Public officials in Stillwater and Stillwater Township support the concept of an off-leash dog park, McGinnis said, but concerns over the size of the park sent the Friends of the Dog Stillwater Area Dog Park back to the drawing board.
“There were another couple of sites introduced during the meeting and we will revisit a few of the sites that we previously researched,” she said. “We do have support, it’s just a matter of finding the right location.”
After four years, some supporters are becoming restless, McGinnis said. But it is important to note that this type of proposal takes time.
“Some proposals for dog parks move forward in a month and others take years,” McGinnis said.
The Friends of the Stillwater Area Dog Park are looking at other options and are currently in talks with the city of Bayport about a possible site there, McGinnis said. Dog park advocates will continue to look into other locations in Stillwater and Stillwater Township.
“We envision managing two or three dog parks in the area,” she said. “We just want to get one started so we can prove we are a responsible group of volunteers … and from there we can move into other areas.”
McGinnis said she understands the frustration dog park supporters have, but continued support is important so the nonprofit group can move forward.
A fundraiser aptly named Canines and Cocktails on the Croix is set for June 23 from noon to 3 p.m. at Shanghai Bistro in downtown Stillwater. A rain date is set for the following day.
The fundraiser will be similar to last year’s event with pet photography, music, door prizes, treats, food and drink specials and special sushi treats for dogs. The cost to attend the fundraiser is $10.
A second fundraising event is in the works for August.