More refined plans have been assembled for a proposed dog park in Hawley’s Riverside Park. The dog walking area, which will be open to the public, is to be funded by donations.

HAWLEY - More refined plans have been assembled for a proposed dog park in Hawley’s Riverside Park. The dog walking area, which will be open to the public, is to be funded by donations.

Hawley Park & Recreation Commission, which previously recommended approval for the concept, agreed October 30 to pass on the more complete plans to borough council.

Heather Genzlinger and Susan Currier discussed the dog park ideas with Park & Rec.

The dog park essentially will be a fenced-in rectangle where dog owners may let their animals run and play. There will be an inner section for dogs of a different size. A steel pavilion to offer shade is proposed, overlapping the two sections. Benches are planned. Also discussed is a gravel walkway around the perimeter to keep down weeds along the fence.

The chain-link fence would be five feet high. Three entrance gates three feet wide for dog owners and their dogs, and two six-foot wide gates to let in a riding lawn mower, are planned.

Placement of the dog park would be between the Glass Row ball field and the access road off Church Street after the railroad crossing. It will be set up 15 feet from the back of the flood levee and about 80 feet from the ball field.

The overall dimensions will depend on funding and approvals but the preliminary sketch outlines a dog park 280 by 180 feet.

Written approval was obtained from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to place the fencing in this area. This was necessary because the area is a flood plain with strict limits on what can be placed there.

Genzlinger asked if it would be all right to have a section with paving stones. Similar to what is done at the Bingham Park playground and outside the Ritz Theater, these stones would be available for engraving, as requested by people who donate a certain amount of funds for the project. It was suggested that some may want to pay for a paving stone in memory of a deceased pet.

Approval for laying pavers would be needed by DEP, Councilwoman and Park & Rec member Eliane Herzog stated.

Currier said that they did a lot of research to develop the dog park. The American Kennel Club has a lot of guidelines. They also looked at rules and regulations suggested by the club.

Once the budget is finalized they can begin fund-raising, Genzlinger said. One way they expect to raise money is through an on-line Go Fund Me account.

She said that with the trail project coming together, which includes the existing trail along the levee, this was perfect timing to promote the dog park.

It was the sense of Parks & Rec members that state prevailing wages would not come into play nor any formal bidding requirement, since this project is being funded privately rather than with taxpayer dollars.

Placement of the dog park would be between the Glass Row ball field and the access road off Church Street after the railroad crossing. It will be set up 15 feet from the back of the flood levee and about 80 feet from the ball field.

Written approval was obtained from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to place the fencing in this area. This was necessary because the area is a flood plain with strict limits on what can be placed there.

Typically dog parks are kept open dawn to dusk, Currier said. No lighting is planned.

Once built, it will be the responsibility of the borough to maintain it. Genzlinger said they are designing the dog park so that maintenance would be minimal, limited to mowing the grass and emptying the trash receptacles. Dog owners will be required to clean up after their pets.

The final plan will be submitted to DEP and the borough for approval, Genszlinger said. Mayor Kevin Hawk, who is on Park & Rec, said it would be nice to have the park ready for the spring.