Erie County, nonprofit team on Ellicott Creek 'bark park'

January 20, 2014 Updated Jan 20, 2014 at 11:25 AM EDT

By James Fink, Buffalo Business First Reporter

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Erie County, nonprofit team on Ellicott Creek 'bark park'

January 20, 2014 Updated Jan 20, 2014 at 11:25 AM EDT

A partnership between the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry and the not-for-profit, Friends of Ellicott, have formed the county's second "official" dog or "bark park."

The park, located within an island area of Ellicott Creek Park in the Town of Tonawanda, has been open for the past few years and run by the Friends of Ellicott. With the county partnership, it is now considered an "official" dog park.

Erie County also maintains a dog park in Buffalo's Black Rock area.

In the "Bark Park," dogs are allowed to run off-leash to play, exercise, socialize and train with their fellow canines.

"The creation of Erie County's second Bark Park provides unencumbered recreation for dogs and their owners who are looking for a place to call their own," said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. "This is another good example of how partnership building, cooperation, and shared vision can result in an asset for our area."

Under the terms of the partnership pact, the 501C Friends of Ellicott have agreed to perform certain limited maintenance and upkeep roles at the park. In addition to maintaining its own liability insurance, the Friends of Ellicott will regularly provide general dog-related cleanup activities at the park, make reasonable efforts to monitor the park to alert the County Parks department to potential problems. The group may hold park-specific fundraising efforts for the purpose of making improvements.

"The Friends of Ellicott initiated the creation of the 'Bark Park' and have been partners throughout the process of making this new feature a reality," said Parks Commissioner Troy Schinzel. "While dog owners had been using the island for some time, the Friends sought to make a more formal agreement and establishment of the area as a dog park, establishing themselves as a not-for-profit entity, raising necessary insurance funds, and entering into an agreement with Erie County to operate the park." Their hard work has been a key to our successful partnership, and we look forward to working with the Friends here in the future."

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