We first met Sarah Schatz when she was in the early stages of planning.
Now, a year later, Schatz is hundreds of steps closer to opening her members-only dog park. She's making progress on the site in Northampton and is excited about the project.
Centrally located between Northampton, Easthampton and Westhampton, Waggin' Trails Dog Park is nearing its open date.
Schatz told Western Mass News that a 50 acre parcel of land will soon be a dog park, with 25 percent donated to conservation.
"The fenced area in the back will be 20 acres and then in the front, there will be several smaller acreage sections - small dogs, puppies, senior dogs and an agility area," Schatz said.
There will also be a small building with bathrooms, a gift shop, an office space, and a self-service dog wash, as well as a dog pool.
It's a dog park like no other in the area. but there's a catch. It's not completely open to the public.
"It'll be members only and that's something that people want. I did a survey when I last saw you. I got about 700 people. People want rules, they want assurance the dogs are fixed," Schatz explained.
Dog owners will need to provide paperwork showing dogs are up to date on vaccines.
"There will be a yearly membership for $300 a year, up to two dogs. There'll be monthly, a day pass," Schatz added.
As long as you provide medical paperwork for your pup, everyone's first visit is free.
Schatz told us that there will always be discounts for senior citizens, veterans, and students, "and we'll have a program for members that are on WIC or SNAP, that's a discount as well."
Members will get a key fob and they'll be free to use it from dawn to dusk.
Schatz said that the park will bring jobs.
"I project in year one, we'll be hiring three people," Schatz noted.
Schatz hopes that it'll bring a sense of community to the Pioneer Valley.
"By year five, I do think we'll have a 1,000 members, so staffing will move up every year," Schatz said.
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