Proposed Mattapoisett dog park looks for location

Feb 11, 2020

MATTTAPOISETT — Dog lovers may one day have another place in town to bring their pooches and pups: a mother and son trying to establish a dog park in town came before the Board of Selectmen on Feb. 11 to start brainstorming on a location.

Freemin Bauer started the effort as part of his Eagle Scout project four years ago. Since then, his mother Jodi has also joined in on the effort.

The two are eyeing a grant from the Stanford Foundation, which gives grantees $100,000 if they are able to raise $10,000. Through Dog-Walk-a-Thons, calendars and other efforts the duo has been able to raise $5,000. Jodi said they might apply to the Community Preservation Fund for the rest.

“Fundraising is hard. You can only do so much,” Jodi said.

The two came before the board proposing that they split an acre of land with the Mattapoisett Land Trust near the parking for the shared use bike path. Selectmen said that they had no authority over that property and that the Bauers would have to speak with the Land Trust on that location.

Selectman Paul Silva asked why the park’s original site (the land behind the Police Station) had not been approved. Jodi responded that neighbors had objected too much to the idea.

However Selectmen supported the project and began brainstorming a few other options for locations.

“I didn’t know you only wanted an acre,” Town Administrator Michael Gagne said, “An acre’s not much land.”

Selectman Jordan Collyer suggested the former Holy Ghost property, which the town bought in 2016 for ball fields or a Senior Center/Recreation building. Those plans did not come to fruition.

Collyer suggested cutting some trees in the area and leaving some to buffer the noise, or removing a house on the site and taking advantage of existing clearing.

Another suggestion was for the property that Robert Gingras had donated to the town in 2019 near Old Hammondtown School. The dog park would be accessible from school property in that case, and could use school parking lots.

However, Collyer pointed out that the town may want to expand the fields there. He requested that the town survey the Holy Ghost land.

Selectmen also said they would be open to other suggestions for locations.