The Woodbridge Dog Park Cooperative (WDPC) celebrated two years of successful operations at its annual meeting December 2. Under provisions of a formal agreement with the Town, the dog park is open daily on the Fitzgerald Tract – often referred to as the cornfield – where there used to be an asphalt pad and seasonal skating rink. WDPC operations and finances are completely independent from town government; its third year begins with a new board of directors, new officers of that board, and expanding membership. The WDPC now has well over 100 member families.
“The availability of a dedicated, fenced-in park has quickly proven very popular among residents – both human and canine – as it just happened to open a few months prior to pandemic restrictions and concerns,” newly elected board president Mary Beth Womer said. “This outdoor facility, meant to provide an exercise and social outlet for dogs, also wound up providing a valued opportunity for dog owners to congregate. It has rapidly become a favorite destination these past couple of years where a community within the community has formed.”
The extraordinary contributions of several longstanding WDPC board members were acknowledged at the annual meeting. Bonnie Blake, Carole LaMotte, Carole Abbate, and Beck Swanson cycled off the most recent board after years of dedicated service. The efforts of founding board members Deena Myers, Ramie Ackley, Bonnie Blake, and Michelle Ditzian were also praised as was their successful work to get the dog park planned, approved, funded, built, and operational.
“Each week literally scores of dogs and dog owners have the vision, dedication, and perseverance of these founders and early board members to thank for a chance to stretch their legs, breathe fresh air, and make new friends,” Womer said. “All these WDPC pioneers can now retire from the board satisfied and gratified that their sustained efforts are appreciated, and that the legacy they leave for our new board is a clean, well-run, and financially sound community resource.”
Other new officers of the WDPC, Karin King, vice-president, Jessica Hoffman, secretary, and Joe Giulietti, treasurer were introduced at the annual meeting, as were new, at-large board members: Melissa Federico, Jeanette Glicksman, Nicole Graas, Laurence Grotheer, Jack Nork, Ben Silvert, and John Womer.