by Lisa Tome
Dog days of summer has a whole new meaning in Rising Sun this year.
The partnership between the Octoraro Watershed Association, Town of Rising Sun, and other entities means that the combined wetlands/storm water management area and off leash dog park are coming closer to fruition.
The scope of work is occurring at Rising Sun's Triangle Park at the foot of Mount and Walnut streets. The project will combine a wetland area with a dog park and public amenities.
There will be separate areas for both small and large dogs. The development of wetlands within the park is expected to treat storm water for about 20 acres of developed land that doesn't have storm water controls.
The recent focus has been the wetlands portion.
Rupert Rossetti, a board member for the Octoraro Watershed Association, outlined what has occurred thus far. "Ecotone (contractor) has done a phenomenal job in rather trying conditions," said Rossetti.
On July 1 trees came down. That was followed by surveying work. The sediment and erosion control fence was put in July 5. Ground was broken on July 8. "Despite the rain, they've moved remarkably fast. There are already green shoots poking through the straw in the swale by the stream buffer and on the check dams," said Rossetti.
Now, temporary cover will be installed until the dog park is in place. Full scale planting will come in the fall.
Rossetti, who has been working for years to bring a project such as this to fruition, is thrilled. "Everyday, it transformed. I could see the plans taking shape. I was surprised at how quickly it went," he said.
The town's portion, the dog park, is being overseen by Commissioner Travis Marion. Marion said that the grading for the dog park is expected to start this week. The following week the dog park foundation and sidewalk work will begin, weather permitting.
A sign outlining all these plans will be placed on the site soon. The area is 9.91 acres. The actual park area for phase one is about three acres. The large dog area will measure 6,000 square feet. The small dog area will be half that size. Marion also has put in amenities such as a water fountain for dogs and shaded seating areas for pet owners. They have not yet determined the park hours of operation.
A speciality product, K-9 grass, will be the surface in the dog park. Marion explained that the artificial turf is resilient and will have drainage. The dog park will have stations with bags and disposal areas so pet owners can clean up pet waste.
Rossetti has done a great deal of research regarding the plants for the watershed area. The goal is to have healthy native plants including those which attract insects that deter mosquitos. In addition to the on site watering area, an outdoor education area will be planned for the second phase of development at the park. The first phase will include some education. Keith Williams from North Bay will lead a group of Rising Sun Middle School students who will help with the planting.