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Have a dog and a leash? Huntington may open more parks for use

Huntington Town Hall in Huntington is shown on

Huntington Town Hall in Huntington is shown on Friday,  Sept. 2, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

The Town of Huntington is considering expanding the number of town parks where leashed dogs can visit.

The board will hold a public hearing Tuesday on a proposal to add more parks and make the town’s policy consistent with Suffolk County’s. The county allows licensed dogs on trails in all parks on a leash not more than six feet long. In co-owned parks, county regulations supersede the town’s.

Officials are considering an expansion at the request of the Town’s Greenway Trails Committee. In 2011, a town pilot program was introduced at a Greenlawn park with the goal of increasing safety through the presence of dog-walkers. The program was expanded in 2014 and 2015, bringing to five the number of on-leash walking trails in Huntington.

“As recommended by the Greenway Trails Committee, it makes sense to avoid confusion to have uniform policies and procedures respective to on-leash dog walking at facilities that are co-owned by the town and county,” town spokesman A.J. Carter said Friday.

If approved, the change would affect all town parks except Heckscher Park, the Betty Allen Nature Preserve, playgrounds, picnic areas, active recreation areas, town camps and town beaches. Dogs would be allowed on paved areas and boardwalks at town beaches.

There are 10 parks co-owned by the town and county: Henry Ingraham Nature Preserve; Knolls Park (part of Veterans Parks Complex); Hilaire Woods (recently renamed Heritage Park); Fuchs Pond Preserve; Paumanok Wetlands Preserve; Elwood-Greenlawn Woods; Hawk Valley Preserve; Breezy Park; Lewis-Oliver Dairy; and Wawapek.

In making its recommendation, the Greenway Trails Committee collaborated with the Long Island Dog Owners Group, a nonprofit that works to create dog parks and increase access to public parkland and beaches for canines and their owners.

“For many of us dog owners, walking your dog in a park is one of life’s great pleasures,” Ginny Munger Kahn, president of the Long Island Dog Owners Group and a member of the committee, said on Friday. “To be able to have more parks to be able to do this in Huntington is really terrific.”

The hearing will be held during the regular town board meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Town Hall, 100 Main St.

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