One feature of the city’s newest park that Vicki Decarsky is most excited about is its dog park. Decarsky should be as she’s a dog lover herself, and even if her two 14-year-old Schnauzers may be a bit too far up in years to run with the young pups, she wants to see lots of the city’s furry four-legged residents – with their two-legged masters, of course – at the park having fun and getting exercise.
“I’m all for people to use and enjoy it,” she said.
Decarsky has more than a passing interest in the park as it was her donation of 63 acres on the south side of Derby that will make the recreational resource possible. It’s named Decarsky Park, in her honor along with her late husband, Tomp.
The city is interested in hearing from dog owners about their ideas and in that vein has started threads on Facebook under Decarsky Park.
Dog parks have been growing in development nationwide. The fenced enclosures allow dogs to run off their leashes with the supervision of their owners. Many of the parks have separate areas for small and big dogs, and they usually have double-gated entrance and exit areas so dogs can’t run out when another dog enters the facility.
Decarsky has liked the concepts she’s seen so far.
“All of those ideas being posted are really good,” she said.
Her prime concerns are having water available, maybe even a splash pad for the canines to cool off in the summer’s heat, and placing the dog area near Rock instead of in the back of the park. That should help provide it with a higher level of security, she said.
Park designers are planning to have some shade and seating for humans, but otherwise, it’s too early to talk about precise features as most of the dog park design will occur in October and November. said City Manager Kathy Sexton.
The dog park will likely be around 1.5 to 2 acres and probably on the east side of the park, making it easily accessible to visitors.
There will be close-in parking, making access convenient for senior citizens, the disabled, and families with small children.
A variety of ideas are being considered for the park, including a dog agility course.
“We are definitely gathering ideas for the dog park design,” Sexton said.
Anyone is welcome to contribute on the social media site.
Ironically, Decarsky has never used a dog park herself, but she’s looking forward to visiting Derby’s once it opens. She doesn’t anticipate many, if any, issues there, such as dog owners picking up their pooch’s business.
“Dog people are good people,” she said.
The parks also give dog owners a chance to socialize and compare hints and suggestions in caring for their canine friends.
Just the fact that a dog park is on the way has Decarsky pleased.
“We have many bike paths and walking paths here, which is good, but we don’t have a dog park,” she said. “I think everyone in Derby would like to have it.”
Sexton said that’s the case and the Derby Park Board has discussed and researched the topic.
Citizens put their money behind it as in 2013 voters approved a 10-year sales tax to begin in 2015.
Part of that funding will be used for ballfields and the new dog park.