With a prospective site chosen, a plan to establish a dog park in Beverly may finally come to fruition this spring after a decade-long effort.
A plot of land at the Beverly Municipal Airport that stretches about 60 feet wide and "a couple of hundred feet" in length was identified by the city's Airport Commission as the space for Beverly's first dog park said Bruce Doig, the city's recreation director.
"It's been a long road and sometimes a bumpy road to find a location," Doig said, alluding to the years of searching and 15 proposed locations that were ultimately denied.
The plot of land is wedged in a corner between Lp Henderson and Sam Fonzo Roads, Doig said. Although he predicts fencing for the park will cost between $15 and $30 per foot, Doig could not estimate the total cost because the department is not certain how much fencing the park needs.
"We're still figuring out the final layout," Doig said.
Mayor William F. Scanlon, Jr. announced the park's prospective springtime opening during his state of the city address Tuesday night.
"The Airport Commission will authorize the Recreation Department to use this site by issuing a revocable license," Scanlon said in his speech. "Relevant city departments are involved."
Conversations between the mayor and the Airport Commission as well as several other city agencies between December and early February led to the planned location, Doig said.
Since it's inception, the dog park faced numerous objections from neighbors of prospective locations who, Doig said, worried about barking, smells, and other disruptions they feared the park may bring.
"Nobody wants the first one in their backyard," Doig explained in a November interview.
With plans for the park in motion, Doig said he and members of Beverly's Dog Park Commission hope it will lead to more in the city.
"It's a big relief to have one," Doig said. "Our goal is to have multiple parks that people can use."