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Construction begins on Potsdam dog park, but cash is short

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POTSDAM — Construction has begun on the Potsdam Community Dog Park, but the project’s organizers say they need $15,000 to complete it.

Volunteers meet at the site, near the Potsdam Humane Society shelter at 17 Market St., nearly every weekend to clear the brush out of the area, leaving the forested park area safe and open for dogs and their owners.

“It really now looks like a park,” said Deborah P. Massell, who is coordinating the project.

Students from Clarkson University have helped clear most of the land, Ms. Massell said.

“It’s already cleared enough that the shelter dogs are being walked there on leash,” she said.

Although work is progressing quickly and a large amount of materials has been donated, the park needs about $15,000 before it can be finished.

The largest expense is parking, but the park also needs more fencing, a storage shed and other additions before it can be complete.

Ms. Massell said the opening date for the park depends largely on whether the money can be raised.

“I was thinking maybe in the fall, but I have no clue,” she said.

The park will be affiliated with the Potsdam Humane Society, and located on Humane Society land, but will operate independently with its own funds and its own volunteers.

The society’s already-strained budget cannot stretch to fit the large project.

Ms. Massell is working on a business plan detailing how the park will be operated and maintained once it is open.

“They’re going to have a volunteer group that’s going to be maintaining it and overseeing it, but it’s still going to be under the Potsdam Humane Society umbrella,” said Alicia M. Maynard, director of the Humane Society.

The project coordinators are raising money through potsdamdogpark.com, and can be reached at contact@PotsdamDogPark.com.

“There’s a huge amount of support, and people are very excited; they write me all the time,” Ms. Massell said.

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