Baristapal Anne Prince tells us Bloomfield dog owners are barking about the neglected, shoddy dog park over at Watsessing Park near Locust Avenue. “It’s one of the oldest dog parks in the county and it’s in a terrible mess.” Resident dog owners have been on the phone to dog park advocate County Exec Joey D – they know he jumped into action when disgruntled Montclairians barked about Brookdale Park’s brand new doggie playpen in their back yard…and why should Watsessing get stuck with a flea-bag run when Brookdale gets the Hyatt Regency?Bloomfield Life reports:
One of the two fountains is broken, creating a pool of undrinkable water mixed with gravel and dirt (regulars have dubbed it “Lake Watsessing”). The bulletin board, intended to advertise dog walking services and such, looks ready to collapse.
Plus, there is a pungent odor of urine clinging to the green garland that wraps around the metal fence surrounding the park.
Stacey Clark, a park regular, sums up the park’s condition in two words: “It’s disgusting.”
Pat Barker, at-large councilwoman, frequents the park with her two dogs… has been on a mission in recent months to bring upgrades to the park, which is maintained by Essex County.
Conditions are worsened by residents who do not pick up after their dogs. Such carelessness is created in part by the county’s carelessness, Clark said.
“It’s just kind of, ‘the county doesn’t care, so why should I care’ kind of thing,” Clark said. “I firmly believe that.”
DiVincenzo says he was not aware of problems at Watsessing Park, promising to do a site visit and fix what was necessary. We contacted the county executive’s office to learn what, if any improvements are scheduled, but did not hear back.
For now, Barker said there is an indisputable disparity between the Watsessing and Brookdale dog parks. Nonetheless, she is hopeful the two will soon be on par with each other.
Comparing the two parks, she said, “It’s like Disneyland versus riding a public bus for entertainment.”
Sounds like Essex needs to throw these poor dogs a bone…
Update on the clean-up, here.