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Soft opening held for Hancock County dog park

PARK OPEN — Hancock County Park Board and Commission cut the ribbon for the newly opened Hancock County dog park during a ceremony attended by, from left Connie Mason, Amy Franey-Cunningham, Britini Recinella, Jeff Davis, Mark Cooper, Paul Cowey, Joe Barnabei, Jeff Wargo and Bob Vidas. -- Julie Riedel

NEW CUMBERLAND — The Hancock County Park Board held the soft opening for the dog park on Saturday.

“I’m glad everyone came, I think it’s a great turnout and it just shows what it’s going to do for the community.” said Britini Recinella, Hancock County Park and Recreations park administrative assistant.

During the soft opening, dog owners were able to bring their pups to play in the park. There was a pet blessing and a ribbon cutting.

here also were vendors selling dog-friendly items, a dog costume contest and a door prize drawing.

“I’m happy the weather has cooperated and we have a good turnout. And we’re happy to be bringing a dog park to Hancock County,” said Jeff Wargo, park board president.

Members of the park board and Hancock County commissioners did the ribbon cutting and Patti Barnabei did the pet blessing.

“I’m just happy for the turnout and I want to continue inviting residents to the dog park, it’s for them to use,” Commissioner Paul Cowey. “And I want to thank everyone who made this park happen.”

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Commissioner Jeff Davis said conversations about a dog park started eight years ago. He also reported the cost for the park was $70,000 and the money came from the hotel/motel tax. Commissioner Joe Barnabei also honored former park board member Mark Cooper, who was instrumental in making the dog park happen with a plaque.

“It’s so nice, I’ve been waiting for a dog park,” said Michelle D’Amico, who was there with her dog, Jade.

The park will be open from sunrise to sunset each day. The park board will be holding a grand opening in the spring after agility equipment and other features are added to the park. Wargo explained the soft opening was held because the park is at a point it can be used.

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