Milford Needs a Dog Park: Where Can It Go?

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For over two years, dog-owning residents of Milford, Massachusetts have been championing for a place to let their canine friends run free. In February of 2021, Friends of Milford Dog Park contacted the Parks Commission and Parks and Recreation Administrator James Asam to ask for more safe spaces to exercise their dogs. According to Google, the only publicly listed off-leash dog park actually in the town of Milford is in Plains Park; for the roughly 30,000 residents of Milford, this is not nearly enough. The town of Milford has yet to create a new dog park, despite owning multiple vacant areas zoned for conservation that could serve as a healthy and safe off-leash dog park.

This potential haven for Milford’s best friends comes with restrictions and requirements that every dog owner looks for when finding the best park. Ideally, off-leash dog parks should not be near unsafe environments with loose gravel or sand that affect soil quality, or major highways, or should not be able to affect the town water supply as a result of rainwater or industrial runoff. On the other hand, it should be possible for residents of Milford to drive to the area and in proximity to other outdoor activity sites, like local hiking trails or paths. The above graphic outlines demographics for Vacant Conservation areas (Use Code 932), as well as Sand and Gravel (Use Code 410), Hiking Trails and Paths (Use Code 801), and areas owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Water Supply Protection (Conservation Restrictions and Sewer Easements, Urban Parks) (Use code 925). Click on each shape to learn more about each lot and whether it should be avoided or considered as a benefit when identifying potential spaces for a new dog park in Milford.