YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- After a 12-year saga, the Yorktown Community Dog Park is officially open.
The dog park celebrated its grand opening Saturday at Sylvain Glen Park, with a 1.3 acre parcel just for the dogs. Dave Rocco, chair of the Yorktown Dog Park Committee and others have been fighting since 2002 for the dog park, which was approved in December 2013 by the Yorktown Parks and Recreation Commission and the Yorktown Town Board.
In 2002, a group of Yorktowners started meeting at FDR State Park letting their dogs run off-leash at the park until being told to stop by park police.
In 2004, the dog owners formed a group and became known as "Friends of the Dog Run at FDR" though little progress was made.
This led to the group approaching the town about a dog park within Yorktown, and in June 2008, the town approved a resolution to create an off-leash dog park.
Many different sites throughout town were proposed for the dog park, but it was not until last year that Sylvan Glen Park Preserve was selected.
"The 400+ members of Yorktown Community Dog Park group can bring their four legged friends to the Sylvan Glen Paw Park," Rocco said.
A dedication to dogs who died during the dog park process was also set up.
Rocco said it is important for dogs to be able to run free.
"It's been proven that dogs need to run off their leash without being restricted," Rocco said. "It makes them better dogs. They are full of energy and aggression, they need to find a way to get it out of their system."
Rocco said this allows dogs to socialize with other dogs and that dog parks are a great way for people to meet other people.
County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz, Town Supervisor Michael Grace and other members of the Yorktown Town Board were at the opening ceremony.