By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
City and state officials will join Mayor Nancy R. Rossi this weekend to celebrate the opening of West Haven’s new dog park in Veterans Memorial Park.
Rossi will hold a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. Saturday to mark the dog park’s official opening at 91 Bull Hill Lane.
“Thank you to Ernie Chiarelli and all our project volunteers for their dedication in beautifying this area and providing the city with another great asset,” Rossi said. “This project is one of many recent endeavors to revitalize our parks and improve the quality of life for our residents and their dogs.”
The dog park was moved last year from behind the West Haven High School tennis courts on Platt Avenue to a larger site at the former Veterans Memorial Park playground, according to Ernie Chiarelli, the project coordinator and sidewalk inspector for the Department of Public Works.
Chiarelli said the new park, funded with a state Local Capital Improvement Program grant, has two fenced-in areas with two double gates for large and small dogs.
Both areas have such bells and whistles as running water to quench dogs’ thirst, a faux fire hydrant and two tunnels, composed of high-density polyethylene plastic pipes, for dogs to crawl through, Chiarelli said.
The park property, part of the former federal Nike site, was completely spruced up as well.
The work included pruning trees, reseeding, and resealing and restriping the parking lot. It also included replacing the old incandescent lamps with new energy-efficient LED lights and reconditioning the existing benches and picnic tables with new wood, Chiarelli said.
Veterans Memorial Park also houses horseshoe pits, two newly refurbished basketball courts and Veterans Field, the home of the West Haven Seahawks of the Ray Tellier Midget Football League and the Notre Dame High School football, soccer and lacrosse teams.