New year, new rules: Dogs on leashes will be allowed in several parts of Heckscher Park in a pilot program starting Wednesday.
The Town of Huntington has created a 90-day test of whether pets and their owners will be obedient, following the rules that include:
- Keep dogs on leash (maximum 6 feet) and under control. No retractable leashes.
- Pick up and properly dispose of dog waste.
- Yield to all other park goers on the paths by stepping off the path.
- Keep dogs out of the playground, picnic areas and tennis courts and the ball field, when in use.
- Keep dogs quiet during events at the Harry Chapin Rainbow Stage.
- Avoid wildlife for their safety and their dog’s.
- Keep dogs out of the plantings and the pond.
- Have dogs licensed and vaccinated.
- Have no more than two dogs per handler.
- Respect other park goers so the park is a good experience for everyone
“The key to this program’s success is dog owners understanding what is allowed and respecting the rights of all people who want to enjoy Huntington’s signature park, both with and without dogs. That’s the main thrust of our educational campaign,” said Councilwoman Joan Cergol, whose resolution to set up the test was unanimously approved by the Town Board in October.
If the first three months are successful, the pilot will be extended for another three months to allow for an assessment of its success during the different seasonal uses of the park.
“LI-DOG’s members understand that bringing their dogs to Heckscher is a privilege that we would like to see become permanent, and our volunteers want to make sure that all dog owners understand their responsibility to make this program work,” said Ginny Munger Kahn, LI-DOG’s president.
People with questions or concerns about the program should call the Town’s 24-hour Public Safety number, 631-351-3234.