Today’s news:

New dog run for Pelham Bay Park

Four-legged friends of Pelham Bay Park will soon have new, enhanced dog run near the Middletown Road police stables – making both master and pooch happy.

The Friends of Pelham Bay Park’s Dog Run Committee has been working with the NYC Parks Department to make repairs to one of the first dog runs ever constructed in a city park. The dog run is in a state of disrepair with inadequate fencing and lighting, members of the committee said.

After working closely with Pelham Bay Park administrator Marianne Anderson, and studying dog runs in parks around the city, the group was pleased to accept a $100,000 grant from Senator Jeff Klein for the construction of a new dog run which will include more lighting and new fencing as well as new benches and water stations.

“We are grateful for the allocated funding from Senator Klein for the Pelham Bay Park Dog Run, which was one of the first established in the city and is in need of capital improvements,” Anderson said.“Parks & Recreation is seeking additional funding, which may be obtained by the end of this year, to begin the design and construction process.”

The Parks Department has already provided temporary lighting for the existing dog run, at the request of the Dog Run Committee headed by Nick Raptas. Raptas hopes that when the funding for the construction of the dog run arrives in the fall, the new run to be constructed by Parks will include amenities like water for dogs, good ground cover, and safe and secure fencing and lighting. He would also like to see a separate space for smaller and larger dogs.

Raptas said that the dog run serves a fundamental purpose in terms of uniting people from the surrounding communities.

“It is not just a place to bring our dogs, but to socialize,” Raptas said.“We have formed a group and are starting to go out to dinner together while we worked on this project, so it has worked out very well.”

Raptas said that the committee, a sub-division of the Friends of Pelham Bay Park, has been working diligently with Anderson, Community Board 10, and Klein to make the new dog run a reality.

“[The current dog run] may be one of the first constructed in the city, but it is in a major state of disrepair.” Raptas said. “Marianne Anderson took us to dog runs in different parks around the city. She explained that without the captial funding from Senator Klein, the Parks department could not afford to build a new dog run.”

Klein said that it was the right time of the season to be talking about a new run.

“With a great number of dog owners in the Pelham Bay community - a clean, well-lit, modern run is a great place for safe, family-friendly outings, especially now that spring is here,” Klein said.

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