Haverhill City Council Backs Resident’s Call for Dog Park at Swasey Field

Entrance to Swasey Field. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Swasey Field Park is going to the dogs, at least if Haverhill resident Andrew Fonseca’s wish is granted.

Speaking before the City Council on Tuesday, Fonseca said he and a number of other dog owners walk their pets at that park and would like to let them have the freedom to run off-leash.

“I’m asking the city to consider installing a fenced-in dog park. I believe this would be a great improvement for the park and provide additional opportunities for residents to socialize with their dogs in a safe structured location. A few other neighbors have brought up that idea as well,” he said.

Fonseca presented a petition signed by area residents supporting the idea. He also suggested a specific area in the south corner of the park, which he said would be ideal for a fenced in play area.

Fonseca presented the idea at last week’s Team Haverhill Possible Dreams event where, he said, it received enthusiastic support.

“It was very well received. I was fortunate enough to meet several people including Andrew Herlihy of the Community Development Department and he has offered possible grant funding for the fencing required for this idea,” he said.

Councilors were also supportive of the plan. Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua proposed creating two separate fenced in parks, one for larger dogs who might play a little more aggressively than some of the smaller pups.

That idea was also supported by Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan who said he wanted to see dog parks in other locations as well.

“Getting more dog parks throughout the city is a priority of mine because I love dogs and we are going to forward this to the mayor and let them look at it as well as the Parks Department. I can tell you that we’re also looking for a dog park at Winnekenni next,” he said.

Sullivan said he is also very interested in finding space in the inner-city area for a dog park to allow downtown residents without transportation to be able to let their dogs run free.

The Council approved the proposal to send the request to Mayor James J. Fiorentini by a vote of 8-0 with Councilor Catherine P. Rogers absent.

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