The Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park get Recognized for their Hard Work

The Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park get Recognized for their Hard Work

The Peekskill Dog Park, a hidden gem unknown to a large portion of the community, is slowly gaining recognition and attention over the past year. Thanks to the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park, the City of Peekskill, and the surrounding community, the Peekskill Dog Park is currently thriving and plans for expansion are underway. Dave Mueller, the president of the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park, and his team have gone to great lengths to revamp the Peekskill Dog Park which they believe has been long-overdue. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed as this past month, they achieved a milestone accomplishment.

On April 21, Westchester Magazine ranked the Peekskill Dog Park in the “10 Great Westchester Dog Parks Your Pets Will Love”. This was a pleasant surprise for a few as the Peekskill Dog Park is one of the smallest dog parks in the area. “We were all ecstatic when we heard about it. We had no idea.” said Mueller. He continued “Sabina Flagg, the secretary of the dog park told me we placed in the top 10, I thought she was joking at first”.  

This accomplishment closely coincided with the Peekskill Dog Park’s kick off event on April 29 for the new bridge that was installed. The bridge is the first phase complete of four in the expansion proposal expected to complete by the end of 2023. In attendance at the kick off event were Council members Brian Fassett and Kathleen Talbot along with Sabina Flagg, Peggy Boyce, and Allison Risoli, members of the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park. Each individual, including Mayor Vivian McKenzie, the Parks Department, and DPW played a role in making the dog park what it is today. “We’re the best everything in Westchester. We just happen to have a dog park that’s also placed in the top 10.” said Councilman Fassett. He continued “I think it’s amazing that we placed in the top 10 considering how little we have here as a dog park. The expansion that we’re working on with Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park is going to make this place even better”. Councilwoman Talbot was emotional over how community oriented the dog park is. “It’s wonderful when citizens just dive in and decide to take on a project like this.”

Mueller is excited for the future and believes that soon the Peekskill Dog Park will become a mini tourist attraction because of their top 10 accomplishment. “If you come to the dog park, you end up seeing license plates from all over. It’s incredible.” said Mueller. He continued “The more people hear about us, the better it is but it will continue to get crowded that’s why expansion is so important to us.” The increase in development around Peekskill and the inflation of people who got dogs during COVID, is bringing in a lot of new people and the Peekskill Dog Park will not be able to cope in its current state. “Sometimes the dog park feels very small. If you have ten dogs in here and then you have 10 to 15 people, It gets crazy. The dogs need more space especially in the summer” said Mueller. 

Since the group was formed back in 2017, the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park have made it their goal to make the Peekskill Dog Park a friendly environment for both our furry friends and the community. “The dog park has been community-focused since day 1.” said Mueller. Everything from the logo to the events have been decided upon by the community. “When you get here and you’re new, almost everyone wants to help you with your dog. The people here love talking to each other and giving advice” added Mueller. “The dog park is for the dogs but the people who come here are also very amazing. It’s good to see the community building and people getting to know each other.” added Councilman Fassett.

The Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park aren’t the only ones celebrating placing top 10 and expanding, frequent dog park lovers have expressed delight too. “I think it’s great and positive. Anything positive opens us up to many endeavors. I think it’s about time Peekskill gets recognized for something positive. We were isolated for a long time during COVID and this accomplishment and the dog park can bring us all together.” said Peekskill resident Alexis Baker while enjoying the park with her dog Saidy. 

As for the future, Mueller and his team are not short of ideas. “When we expand, we are hoping to get more restaurants involved in becoming dog friendly. People love going to the Peekskill Brewery because they’re dog friendly and then coming to the dog park .” said Mueller. To make this possible, the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park encourage the community to help in any way possible. Anyone can become a member and donate on their website and follow their social media accounts for frequent posts about upcoming events.