Posts Tagged ‘Ocean Grove dog park’

Ocean Grove is a “dog town.”  Where’s our dog park or beach?   Go to Asbury.  Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger   Re-post from 2017.

Cindy Stiles, the proprietor of Pet Boutique* on Main Avenue in OG, has collected 1,000 signatures on petitions and she has gone before the Camp Meeting Association at least twice to ask them to permit a “private” dog park facility on their land near the tennis courts, but each time she has been turned down.

Ocean Grove could be called “Dog Town” because it’s loaded with dogs—residents and visitors.  But evidently there aren’t too many dog lovers on the CMA Board.

Today, at the Annual CMA Labor Day Report, Cindy went to the microphone to try again.  And try she did:  Cindy even told them that “God spelled backwards is dog.”  She seemed a bit desperate when she said that “some dog owners would like to pray with their pets in a dog park.”  Her main argument was that many visitors to town are dismayed when they learn that there are no dog runs for their pets.

However, regardless of how many persuasive arguments Cindy could muster, Dale Whilden, CMA President, could not be moved saying that the Board had a variety of reasons for rejecting the idea including concerns about animal “spats”, diseases, poop, security issues and more.

But the idea was checkmated when Dr. Whilden disclosed that the CMA had its eyes on that property for a possible parking lot or a place to store off-season life-guard chairs and/or more beach lockers.

And  the final coup de grace was when he said that the CMA needed to focus its attention on its “vision and mission”and that they had a “long list” of new ideas to get to, and a dog park was not on that list.  Priorities trump pets.    He did mention that the OG beach was open for dogs during the off-season, and many Grovers with dogs take advantage of that courtesy.

But Cindy was still not backing down, until someone shouted,  “Let’s move on,” followed by a smattering of applause.

So Cindy had to step away—-clearly she was barking up the wrong tree.

* Cindy lost her business in the Grove due to unaffordable rent increases by her Main Avenue landlord.


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Deisel (L) and Chico, two OG dogs, frolic at the Asbury after-hours north beach.  Blogfinger photos. ©

Deisel (L) and Chico, OG friends, frolic at the Asbury Park after-hours north end dog beach. June, 2015, Michael Goldfinger photos.

Once again summer has hit the beautiful beach town of Ocean Grove, and once again, the town provides no recreational area for residents and their furry companions. Ocean Grove is generally considered to be “dog friendly.” Many Grovers have canine members of their families.  There is a sizable dog population in town.

In early May of 2014, I and several other Ocean Grove residents provided a very detailed plan for the formation of an OG K-9 club that would virtually cost the town zero dollars. We provided various locations which would have little impact on residents in the area. We had volunteers who were prepared to maintain the location and enforce park rules. The Neptune Township Committee thought the park was a brilliant idea. A Blogfinger poll of OG residents found that 52% of residents polled wanted a park. All the Dog Park Planning Committee needed was approval from the OG Camp Meeting Association.

The idea and plans were soon presented to the CMA. We left the meeting feeling extremely upbeat, thinking we had presented a very good case for why a dog park would benefit the residents of Ocean Grove.

Who wouldn’t want a location where the people of this small beach front community could gather every day of the year, engage in small talk, and make new friends? Turns out the OGCMA didn’t. We were told that the park didn’t meet the “mission of the Association.”

Asbury Park off-hours north beach for dogs.  Owners are very careful to police the area.  June, 2015.  MG photos.

Asbury Park off-hours north beach for dogs. Owners are very careful to police the area. June, 2015. MG photos.

Soon after, we again approached the OGCMA with an alternate idea. Let’s pull a page from Asbury Park. They allow dogs to play on their most northern beach during the hours that the beach is closed. Dog owners there are extremely respectful and aware that they share this beach with swimmers. The beach is almost always kept clean from dog waste, and there haven’t been any incidents resulting in complaints.

So we suggested that dogs be allowed on the most northern beach in Ocean Grove, after beach hours. This would be the location behind the white building that borders Asbury Park. Even during beach hours, this small stretch of beach is hardly utilized by swimmers. So how could that be a bad idea? Well, once again the CMA turned us down.

We hoped that  they would listen to us, since we all are Ocean Grovers. We understand that the foundation of this town is built around CMA beliefs, but, times are changing, and residents deserve to be heard and met half way. The blanket statement, “it doesn’t meet our mission,” is extremely vague and an easy out.

So once again, we  raise the question regarding a location where dogs can safely play in Ocean Grove:

Previously we suggested the open grassy area on the south side of town near the intersection of Pennsylvania and Inskip Avenues. Next we proposed  the North Beach, which would require nothing but responsible dog owners.

Now here is yet another location (shown in photograph)—-The corner of Broadway and Fletcher Lake (Central) Avenue.

Chico checks out the suggested location by Fletcher Lake. MG photo.

Chico checks out the suggested location by Fletcher Lake at Broadway. MG photo.

That corner already has a fenced in playground, tennis court and shuffle board area. Behind all those locations lays a big grassy strip, perfect for a dog run. One side is already fenced in and the other side is water. The only thing needed is fencing on the north and south side. The tennis court and playground would provide a buffer, and residents who didn’t want a park wouldn’t see it back there

If anyone has any suggestions on how we can move this concept forward, please comment or contact me directly. I am still committed to this project and believe that a dog park would only add to the pleasures of living in this town.

Thank you,

Michael Goldfinger for the proposed OG K-9  Club

Contact Michael Goldfinger via Blogfinger@verizon.net

Ocean Grove, NJ,  June 9, 2015


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