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Presley Memorial Dog Park a success in Hammondsport

Jeff Smith
The Leader

The Presley Memorial Dog Park, an off-leash, free dog park, opened this summer off Pleasant Valley Road, and organizers say the success has been overwhelming.

Paul Wilson (standing), an organizer of the Presley Memorial Dog Park, speaks with Bill Romig, the man who first came up with the idea of having a dog park in Hammondsport.

“Things have been great since it’s been open,” said John Heil, a park organizer. “It’s been really good. We’ve seen a lot of people and received a lot of compliments.”

The park allows dogs to enjoy being off-leash and to be able to exercise, said Paul Wilson, a park organizer. The park includes a 33,000-square foot area for large dogs and an 11,000 square foot area for small dogs.

Sandy Heil, a park organizer, said the idea to open a dog park on an acre site just south of the Urbana Town Hall on Pleasant Valley Road just off State Route 54A started a little more than two years ago.

Wilson and John and Sandy Heil helped lead a near $25,000 project to build the dog park on the Town of Urbana property.

“The property was there to begin with,” John Heil said. “We did the improvements on their property and we gave the dog park back to the town. It is open free to the public dawn to dusk every day. It’s free to anybody, we just ask those using it to clean up after their dogs.”

Efforts to create a dog park in Penn Yan stalled last year when organizers rejected the Village of Penn Yan’s offer for a site at the former wastewater treatment plant on Cherry Street that adjoins the Outlet Trail, is already partially fenced, and has available parking.

“The dog park is a privilege,” Wilson said. “If not abused, it will stay a free park and everything. Things have gone well since it opened about a month ago. Everybody and their dogs seem to enjoy it.”

The dog park is named the Presley Memorial Dog Park because Jim Presley made a significant donation to help fund the dog park project.

John Hiel said further improvements are currently planned for the dog park, including the construction of a gazebo shelter in the portion of the park used by larger dogs, adding additional benches and trees will be planted at the park.

“The shelter and the trees will allow the dogs and owners to get out of the sun or out of the rain,” Wilson said. “We’re out to bid right now for those projects so we don’t know the exact price.”

To make a donation to Urbana Dog Park people can make a check to Friends of Hammondsport, P.O. Box 147, Hammondsport, New York, 14840, Urbana Dog Park.

“We have some money and we are always looking for additional donations to help with the improvements,” Wilson said. “We also have a company that has donated trees to plant to help give us some shade.”