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Trumbull Park Rangers, Dogs and Park Stickers

The Parks and Recreation Commission is grappling with numerous interrelated issues stemming from increased usage of Trumbull's parks.

The popularity of Trumbull's parks is creating a variety of issues, from parking to dog matters.

TDOG of Trumbull is trying to enforce its rules, from mixing fixed and non-fixed dogs to keeping the Dog Park for Trumbull residents only. But sometimes they need the Park Rangers, who say they are stretched thin.

During peak usage season, such as baseball games many non-residents attending the games bring their pets.

The Parks and Recreation Commission discussed such ideas as:

  • In other communities you can’t use facilities without a resident permit. After November or December other communities close their parks.
  • Indian Ledge Park's issue involves non-resident use which has evolved because of the BMX Track, soccer field competition, concert area, compost area including the cell tower activities and filtering-in from the close proximity to the Rail Trail all bringing non-residents into the park. They do control non-resident use of the lower Lot area.
  • Every park has its own value. Should the Commission consider no dogs allowed at specific parks?
  • The town has ordinances requiring dogs on leash and pick-up after dogs which users disregard.
  • The network of secondary trails and paths throughout our system are contributing to increased walkers with dogs.
  • State beaches and Kent Falls State Park were mentioned as prohibiting dogs. The board should research at the State level if it can prohibit dogs in the valley because of the environmental impact to the parks system.

Meanwhile, Park rangers told the Board that there are two rangers to cover an increased area, while there were two when the park system was smaller. Six part-time rangers assist in the busy months, officials said.

To illustrate the point, officials said that this past season they increased checks at Twin Brooks, Indian Ledge and Beach Memorial Park. They gave out 1,600 warnings and the Recreation Department gave out 2,500 vehicle permits with registrations presented.

The comparison showed 1,300 non residents were given warnings, referring to those who didn’t come to Recreation for a permit, officials said.

Parks Supt. Dmitri Paris added that he supports a "robust sticker program ... in this budget." He said the town can buy software for the current scheduling system for about $3,500 to manage the sticker distribution system from the Recreation Department.

The Parks Department will present its budget to First Selectman Tim Herbst after the new year.

Pam Georgas December 26, 2012 at 03:05 PM
While I would agree there is a great deal of destruction happening in the valley, dogs on leash are the least of the problem here. I think the state discourages dogs in areas of state parks that are environmentally sensitive, I.e. SilverSands during nesting season of Piping Plovers, etc. it does not ban dogs year round and in all areas of parks. Off trail mountain bikers are one of the main causes for destruction in the valley. Environmentally sensitive state park areas ban mountain biking or other destructive human activity, or control it through more defined trails. I am not necessarily suggesting banning mountain biking in the valley, but it needs to be better managed and controlled. Someone needs to take responsibility for identifying, marking, and protecting sensitive habitat areas in the valley. The question is, who has the authority to do this? Effective conservation requires, balance, and a plan The problem with the valley, is that there seems to be no real oversight or longterm management plan, due to the unusual purchase agreement. Although the valley park was jointly purchased by town and state, it is 100% owned by the state, and the town agreed at time of purchase to take on some minor trail maintenance responsibility.

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