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Park in Nesconset to allow dog walkers

Smithtown’s newest park will be the first to allow visitors to walk their dogs.

The town this week plans to open a dog walk at Charles P. Toner park, which opened in June on Smithtown Boulevard in Nesconset. It will be the only one of the town’s 26 parks to allow dogs, said town parks director Charles Barrett.

He said visitors had been violating park rules by walking their dogs on the athletic fields. The town decided to try to accommodate canines, rather than fine their owners.

“Give people a place to walk the dogs, and hopefully it will keep them off the athletic fields,” Barrett said.

A portion of the dog walk will be opened this week, and the remainder should be open within two weeks, he said.

Dogs at the park must be licensed and vaccinated, and owners must walk them on a leash.

The walk will include two stations, at the beginning and end of the trail, with receptacles for dog waste.

“The owner is responsible not only for the dog’s behavior but also for cleaning up,” Barrett said.

The 42-acre park has hiking trails, a running track, tennis courts, a water park, children’s playground and a hockey rink.

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