Published in the August 30, 2017 edition


LYNNFIELD — Local officials have begun laying the groundwork for bringing a dog park to the center of town.

During last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Selectman Phil Crawford said local officials have identified a potential dog park location off of Carter Road.

“The land starts behind the center shopping area and goes all the way to Carter Road about a quarter mile in,” said Crawford. “It’s all conversation land. It’s a lovely dry piece of land that we could potentially use for a dog park.”

Crawford said Town Administrator Jim Boudreau has begun the process of pursuing a grant in order to help finance the cost of bringing a dog park to Lynnfield.

“There are grants available for dog parks and I don’t think they are need-based,” said Crawford.

In an interview with the Villager, Crawford said local officials have reached to Conservation Commission to begin discussing the proposed project.

“It’s still in the preliminary stages,” said Crawford.

Master Plan Steering Committee Chairwoman Heather Sievers, who appeared at the selectmen’s meeting in order to give an overview of the Master Plan Survey’s recreation component, said it would be “awesome” to bring a dog park to town. She noted requests for a dog park was a common theme featured in the survey’s results.

Sievers said the Master Plan Survey’s recreation component results revealed there is strong support for retaining and expanding open space in town.

“While most people indicated they were satisfied to some degree with the amount of open space in town, when asked which open space locations they use most, most people also don’t use or were unaware of the open space listed,” said Sievers in the Master Plan Survey report.

Sievers said “most people are satisfied to some degree with current offerings and use them with some regularity, however, there is confusion as to whether the recreational facilities at schools can be used by non-students.”

In addition to bringing a dog park to town, Sievers said people requested walking trails, a rail trail to North Reading and playgrounds. She also said, “respondents were generally in favor of the Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail, and about half of those opposed were willing to consider just a trail between the middle school and new library site.”

Crawford said local and North Reading officials will be holding a meeting to discuss the possibility of bringing a rail trail to the two towns.

The Master Plan Survey consisted of 59 questions pertaining to planning philosophy, economic development, zoning and land use, housing, public services and facilities, communication, recreation and open space, transportation, environmental issues and energy, governance, housing, historic resources and cultural resources. The survey was conducted between Jan. 1 and Jan. 28.

“We had 906 responses representing households of all different ages and from every corner of town,” said Sievers.