Update: The grand opening celebration has been postponed to June 10. It was planned for May 13.
NAUGATUCK — Local dogs and their humans will have a reason to celebrate when the borough officially marks the grand opening of the Naugatuck Dog Park.
The grand opening celebration is scheduled for June 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The dog park is off of Andrew Mountain Road.
Burgess Rocky Vitale, who spearheaded the creation of the dog park, said the grand opening will feature a raffle and about a dozen vendors selling, among other items, dog supplies, dog training lessons and jewelry.
There will also be police dog demonstrations, including two dogs from local police departments and one state police dog demonstrating searches for narcotics and people. There will also be demonstrations from dog trainers, he said.
While the event will celebrate the official grand opening of the approximately 3-acre fenced-in park, the dog park has been in use and popular with local dog owners since October.
“The park has seen a lot of use. It opened once the fence was ready,” Vitale said.
The dog park is part of Andrew Mountain Park, which will eventually feature a community garden, a pavilion and athletic fields. The dog park features two fenced in areas — a common area for all dogs and an area for smaller dogs.
Vitale said the dog park hasn’t cost the borough anything.
The fencing for the park was paid for with Local Capital Improvement Program funds the borough had left over from other projects. In addition, the borough received an $80,000 grant from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to help pay for the work at the park, including the trails and the parking lot.
The community has also stepped forward to help the effort.
A local Boy Scout working towards his Eagle Badge is making picnic tables and benches for the park, and the kiosk sign for the entrance to the dog park is being made by Naugatuck High School students, Vitale said.
“We are trying to get the whole town involved in this park. We are especially trying to get the kids involved,” Vitale said.
Vitale encouraged people to come to the grand opening and bring their dogs to the park whenever they are able.
“It’s one more thing in Naugatuck that people can do and enjoy. It is a low-cost alternative to other types of entertainment. This will show people what we have in town and what we can do,” Vitale said.