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News > Commentary - Straight Talk: Tall grass at the dog park
Straight Talk: Tall grass at the dog park

Posted 7/21/2011   Updated 7/21/2011 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Col. Stacy L. Yike
66th Air Base Group commander

7/21/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- I hope everyone is enjoying a safe summer so far. We have so many new people moving in. Be sure to head over to your neighbor and say hello. Why not invite them to join you for lunch or share with them some of your favorite things to do in the area? Hanscom Services has a great website with all the latest information at www.hanscomservices.com. Check out special offerings at Tickets and Tours or visit the local USO site that talks about military specials all over the region. Have you tried a Boston museum yet? Many are free this summer for active duty members. I am dumbfounded by all the great opportunities.

Question: I was wondering whose responsibility it is to mow the grass in the dog park? So far this year, I've noticed the dog park has been mowed once, and that was at least a month ago. All the grass surrounding the dog park seems to be kept at a reasonable height, yet the dog park's grass is easily three feet tall in many places. I'm confused as to why the only place on base where my dog is allowed to roam freely happens to be a breeding ground for ticks and fleas. I would love to let my dog run around in the dog park again, but I'd rather not spend my nights picking ticks out of her fur.

Answer: Thanks for letting me know about the tall grass. I had not been over to the dog park in awhile and was unaware of the situation. The Hanscom Dog Park was conceived with the notion that dog owners would play a role in maintaining the park. This notion, coupled with the fact that we have scaled back on the grass cutting due to budgetary constraints, led to the dog park being designated as "unimproved grounds," which means it was not cut by our base maintenance contractor. This spring at least one dog owner took matters into their own hands and cut the grass at the park for us. My deepest thanks to the individuals for their willingness to help out fellow dog owners--you embody service before self!

For a long-term solution, we have redesignated the dog park as "semi-improved grounds" in exchange for redesignating another area of equal size as "unimproved grounds" so that the grass at the dog park is cut once per month and I can still pay the bills.

When the dog park opened in the fall of 2009 the original group of dog owners agreed to help maintain the park, but with the passage of time, the original people have departed and did not pass on the tradition to the newcomers. I believe with the help of dog owners and the monthly cuts by Civil Engineering, we can maintain a viable park for dogs to play. Residents are also allowed to put up a fence in their backyard to make a nice space for dogs, but remember to get approval from housing first.

7/28/2011 8:42:26 PM ET
Maybe the residents that requested the dog park and agreed to maintain it, as I know some in fact DO still reside here on base, should be kindly reminded of their agreed responsibilities so another area of the base can remained beautiful. It is always a good feeling to drive onto a base that is well kept.
HAFB Resident, HAFB
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