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Potsdam Village Board supports dog park efforts

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POTSDAM - Buddy, Lassie and Spike are hoping that Potsdam’s participation in the PetSafe third annual Bark for Your Park contest will produce enough funds to complete their new hangout spot.

The ongoing Potsdam Community Dog Park project received the village board’s approval during their regular board meeting this week.

Project Coordinator Deborah P. Massell asked the board for their support.

“I am spearheading the community efforts, along with the Potsdam Humane Society, to create a dog park behind their land. They have donated the land, and we are having as many items as possible donated but what we really need is fundraising at the moment,” Ms. Massell said. “One of the things they need besides votes - they need a letter from the advocator of the land, which I have from the Humane Society. ... The third and very important piece of this puzzle is that the civic leaders - specifically the mayor and/or others - write a letter to support this project so that they feel the whole community is behind the park.”

Ms. Massell recently nominated Potsdam for the contest that started May 7. The nationwide contest is for communities and community leaders to come together with votes for their town or city to win the money to build a dog park.

Fifteen finalists announced June 13 are expected to produce a video supporting their community. The municipality with the most votes will receive $100,000, and four runners-up will get $25,000.

The park will be a safe, fenced area on three acres of land, where dogs and their owners can enjoy walking through the woods and meeting friends. A group of volunteers is working with the Humane Society in development of the park at 17 Madrid Ave. (Route 345).

Village Trustee Eleanor F. Hopke was outspoken with her appreciation for Ms. Massell’s efforts.

“Thank you for your perseverance and your energy and everything else you’re putting in. Thank you for your passion,” she said.

“It’s my dog’s passion. I do it for her and for all the other ones who could get hit by a car or run across the ice to the islands and not come back - all of which she has tried to do,” Ms. Massell responded.

Work has already started to create the space for dogs and their humans. The three-acre lot behind the PHS building has been surveyed by Louis Maine, a surveyor from Potsdam.

Work has also been done by Jeff Hodgson of WagnerHodgson, landscape designers from Burlington, Vt.

Potsdam, which got a later start than May 7, has until June 7 to collect votes, as do the 1,100 other communities competing for the money.

Anyone who wants to vote for Potsdam can vote twice each day, once on the PetSafe Facebook page and once on its website at www.petsafe.net/barkforyourpark.

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