Pups come out for Mattapoisett Dog Walk-a-Thon

Aug 26, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — Four-legged friends took to the streets on Saturday, Aug. 26 to help raise money for a dog park that could possibly find a home at the now vacant Holy Ghost Grounds in Mattapoisett.

Now in its eighth year, the Dog Walk-a-Thon raises money and awareness for the construction of an off-leash dog park in Mattapoisett, said event organizer Freemin Bauer. Already, he said, enough money has been raised to apply for a grant from the Stanton Foundation that would pay for the project.

Participants could walk their dogs around a half-mile or one-mile route through Mattapoisett village, get a Walk-a-Thon t-shirt and enter into a give-away for baskets of dog-related items.

This year, Freemin and his mother, fellow Walk-a-Thon organizer Jodi Bauer, who is also chair of the Mattapoisett Select Board, encouraged participants to fill out a survey that could help decide the future of Mattapoisett’s Holy Ghost Grounds.

The Holy Ghost property is a seven-acre parcel of land off Park Street that the town acquired in 2016. The town formed the Holy Ghost Reuse Committee to help determine the future of the parcel.

According to Freemin Bauer, who sits on the Holy Ghost Reuse Committee, it is well-suited for a dog park.

“There’s not a whole lot of town parcels left,” said Jodi Bauer. “We think that’s an ideal place for it.”

According to Mattapoisett resident Ellen Horrocks, the Holy Ghost Grounds could be a good location for a dog park, but that traffic on Park Street could be an issue.

“It's busy from six o'clock in the morning on,” said Horrocks. “I get up early, and let me tell you, they’re flying out of there … that’s a big thing we’ve got to think about.”

“The survey is a big deal,” said Freemin Bauer. “Because it lets the Holy Ghost Reuse Committee know that townspeople would want a dog park.”

Other options that have been discussed for the Holy Ghost Grounds include walking trails, pickleball courts, basketball courts and playgrounds, he said.

Mattapoisett residents can fill out the Holy Ghost Reuse Committee survey online on the town website.

The tentative design for the dog park will be an oval shape divided into three sections for older dogs, small dogs, and big dogs, he said.

Freemin Bauer pointed to Pickles, a 12-year-old boxer and pug mix, as an example of an “old timer who still has energy but you don’t want to put him in the small dog area.”

At the end of the day, he said, “dogs are like people … they want to go play like five-year-olds at a playground.”