Off the Leash dog park opens in the Manorhaven Nature Preserve


Two dogs enjoys the park without leashes. The wood chips covering the ground were salvaged from trees brought down by Sandy.

Rachel Cho, Senior News Editor

Who let the dogs out?  Manorhaven Mayor Giovanna Giunta did. On Sept. 28, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the official opening of the first dog park on Long Island.  Dog biscuits were distributed to celebrate the opening of the park.

Located in the Manorhaven Nature Preserve, “Off the Leash,” was created through the help of a committee of local volunteers along with Manorhaven village, who planned the design and construction of the park.

“I most definitely think the park will be beneficial to Port Washington because it’s a perfect way to interact with other people and their pets,” said senior Diego Hidalgo. “I would bring my dog, Maya, to the park, to meet other dogs.”

Featuring a small park for smaller dogs and another larger park for bigger dogs, both parks have been filled with wood chips made from trees that fell during Superstorm Sandy.

The memorial benches in the parks for dog owners were donated by residents.  The fencing surrounding both parks and the Pawprint entrance was designed and donated by resident Frank Ottaviani,  while the actual construction of the park was done by the Manorhaven village Department of Public Works.

“It has been a community effort from start to finish,” said Mayor Giovanna Giunta.

The establishment of the new park is receiving positive review from not only dog owners but all residents.

“I think it’s great if it doesn’t get in the way of anything,” said sophomore Lesther Reyes. “I think plenty of people who live in Manorhaven will go.”

The idea of creating this dog park was  long hoped for  and it finally came true.

Off the Leash is also a part of an ongoing environmental initiative to create and preserve green spaces for future generations.

“The Manorhaven dog park has been an aspiration of residents for many years. It was one of the projects our Board and I wanted to make a reality for our village.  It is a perfect site, surrounded by natural beauty,” said  Mayor Giunta.

Not only does the dog park mark the start of the growing nature preserve, it also serves as a safe place for dogs to run around freely and exercise.

“I’m so excited that the community is opening this dog park. It will provide a great place for dog owners and their pets to excercise, socialize, and have fun,” said junior Sally Kuan.

It also provides a place for resident dog owners and others to socialize in a pet-friendly environment.

“It is  also our hope that many young people will join together as part of the dog park committee that will provide them with community service as well as help to maintain Manorhaven’s dog park,” said Mayor Giunta.