On Sunday, June 8, Southampton Village and the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) will celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Southampton Village Dog Park at Lola Prentice Memorial Park from 10 a.m.–12:30p.m. Southampton Village mayor Mark Epley and the Village Board of Trustees will be on hand to welcome all dogs to Southampton Village’s first public dog park, and WLNG will be live on location.
The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 10 a.m., followed by the Southampton Animal Shelter’s Hamptons Dog Walk. Registration for the walk is $30 per dog, which will benefit the homeless pets at the Southampton Animal Shelter. A “Playing for Life” program demonstration will be conducted by its creator Aimee Sadler, who is also SASF’s Director of Training and Behavior. Sadler travels to shelters across the country teaching her award winning program which saves lives of countless shelter dogs.
Tate’s Bake Shop will provide fresh Crutchley Crullers; Hampton Bagels will serve their namesake treats and Beach Treats will offer free ice cream, while Hint Water will quench participants’ thirst. In addition, the event will include a Chinese auction with prizes from Southampton’s local business community, and Little Lucy’s Canine Couture will host a canine costume parade and other giveaways.
The Southampton Village Dog Park was originally conceived by a few local dog owners on the beach. They formed a small committee, which met with Mayor Epley to put forth the idea, according to Southampton Village resident Zoe Kamitses. Epley’s wife, Marianne, had been trying to create a dog park and was very much in favor, so the mayor suggested a location near Agawam Lake, but the Village Trustees turned it down.
In response to the denial, Kamitses said the committee created a petition and, after more than 600 signatures were collected, they returned to the Village Trustees, again with the location near Agawam Lake, and were again turned down because the location had too many complications. Two weeks later, the committee returned to the Village Trustees with a new location, Lola Prentice Memorial Park, and this time the Trustees unanimously approved the location and agreed that the village would maintain it, but the committee would have to raise the money to create it.
In short course, the committee raised more than $80,000 for fencing, parking, signage and a 20-foot big, red dog made of steel that will stand as the park’s signature landmark.
The Southampton Village Dog Park at Lola Prentice Memorial Park is located on Windmill Lane, just north of the Southampton Village Police Station.