A group of dedicated dog owners and Dartmouth town officials have collaborated to create a spacious dog park that allows Man’s Best Friend to do what a dog does best – to run, jump and play and have some fun in the great outdoors.

The park, which opened in June 2017, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (later during the summer), at the Dartmouth Regional Parks and Trails facility located off Od Fall River Road. The park is a temporary facility as plans to build a larger permanent park are on the drawing board.

The Dartmouth Dog Advisory Work Group (DDAWG) was created in 2009 and is a 501c3 established for the purpose of building and maintaining an accessible off-leash dog park in the town.

Diane Camacho, a lifelong Dartmouth resident, is president of the organization.

“It’s really personal for me as a dog owner and dog lover,” begins Camacho, noting that the 14 member, all-volunteer group was founded by Rick Oliveira, who continues to serve on the board of directors.

DDAWG volunteers and town employees transformed the former quarter-acre grassy lot. The town erected enclosed fencing and placed picnic tables and trash receptacles in the park.

Camacho adds that Dartmouth and DDAWG provided signage and continue to make changes to park rules. The advisory group also provided a pet-waste station and a double-gated entry system.

Other improvements include a 24-foot long dog tunnel and a bridge that extends across the structure.

According to Camacho, the dog park is monitored daily by board members who maintain the park. The town is responsible for cutting grass, shoveling and general maintenance.

Camacho adds that DDAWG plans to add benches and an informational kiosk displaying community news in the near future.

She emphasizes the dog park has a 15-dog limit, a policy that was instituted for safety reasons. Owners are asked to limit playtime to 30 minutes on busy days.

“It’s a very popular place,” Camacho says, adding that the park is especially busy on weekends in good weather when many owners who live in city apartments or congested areas can travel out to the country to enjoy fresh air and an opportunity for their dogs to roam freely.

New Bedford resident Paulo Machado says that his Siberian Husky named Mia visits the dog park once or twice a week.

“It’s excellent,” he shares, adding the park gives the dogs an opportunity to run, play and enjoys the companionship of other canines. Machado says he and his wife have also made friends on social media who meet at the dog park to socialize while their dogs have fun.

“All the people who come here are friendly,” he continues. “It’s a small community of dog lovers. We see some of the same owners every week.”

Machado observes that word about the dog park spreads, there are always new owners who are eager to enjoy the benefits of the park.

“There are a lot of Siberians,” he tells, adding that most of the dogs, whether they are small or large, all play well together and their owners self-monitor the canines so that everyone enjoys a positive experience at the dog park.

For more information about DDAWG, visit the group on Facebook or email dartmouthdogpark17@yahoo.com.