By JESSICA ARSENAULT RIVENBURG
HERKIMER – Ed View and the Mohawk Valley Rotary Club are looking for help to continue work on the long awaited Roger Skinner Memorial Dog Park taking shape on Marginal Road in Herkimer.
“What I need help with now is volunteers to put the fence up,” said View. “Even if I have to hire someone.”
All the posts have been driven into the ground, he said, the group simply needs someone to attach the 4-, 5- and 8-foot tall fencing to those posts.
View has been working on getting a dog park in the area since 2011, but has run into roadblock after roadblock on the project.
“I was about to give up on it but Roger Skinner told me not to,” View recalled. “He and the rotary club stood by me.”
Because of this loyalty and encouragement, View knew immediately that he wanted to name the park after Skinner following Skinner’s passing on March 9. Skinner was a longtime local businessman and Mohawk Valley Rotary Club member known for his philanthropy.
“Roger was a good guy,” View said. “Helpful and generous, but humble about it. He never sought recognition.”
View said he had hoped to have the dog park open by July, but he needs help with the fence to make that happen. He already has the roughly 830 feet of fencing required.
It has been a long road for View, who first pitched the idea of a dog park a decade ago. Willing to locate the park anywhere within Herkimer County, View approached just about every village and town board about the idea.
In 2017, the Herkimer village board agreed to find a location for the park as long as View could arrange for its upkeep. The Mohawk Valley Rotary Club agreed to sponsor that aspect, View said.
In 2019, village crews began clearing an area at the Samuel Maytan Fishing Access Site, on South Washington Street, but halted after the state Department of Conservation voiced concerns about the area being within the flood plain of the Mohawk River.
Finally, village officials decided to locate the park along Marginal Road, sandwiched between the train tracks and the street.
A dog park is an area where dog owners can let their canine companions off leash to play and socialize with other dogs, View said. There are more than 900 dog parks across the United States but the next closest to Herkimer is in Sherrill Brook Park in the town of New Hartford.
Once open, area residents will pay $35 for an annual membership for one dog, or $50 annually for two dogs, to use the park. Local businesses can rent space to advertise along the fence for $250 per year, View said. Anyone interested in advertising or, more importantly right now, he said, in helping put up the fence, can contact Ed View at 315-794-6587 or 315-866-5276.