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Officials call for dog park at Hempstead Lake State Park

Hempstead Lake State Park in West Hempstead contains

Hempstead Lake State Park in West Hempstead contains the largest lake in Nassau County, three ponds and various playgrounds, picnic areas, horseback-riding trails, a historic carousel, and sports fields and courts. (April 4, 2013) Photo Credit: Tara Conry

Hempstead Lake State Park should have a fenced-in dog park to serve Rockville Centre residents who live too far away from existing venues, two officials said this week.

Having a nearby dog park “should not be a luxury,” Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Rockville Centre) and Rockville Centre Mayor Francis X. Murray said in a joint letter sent to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

A parks department spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

“In light of the park’s central location and the availability of open space there, we believe that this particular spot is suitable for just such an establishment,” the officials wrote in the letter dated Thursday, adding that pets are “extensions if not outright members” of many families.

“Attracting dog owners to the park, so that they may experience its splendor and see more of what you have to offer there, is also a goal worth pursuing,” the officials wrote.

A few of Long Island’s state parks offer limited areas for leashed dogs.

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