future dog park.Students from Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES' Urban Forestry program worked for two days at the Sylvan Glen Park Preserve in Yorktown to prepare the site for the
John Madden, a Yorktown resident and BOCES Urban Forestry Program teacher, said his 30 students were selectively trimming the trees on the 1.3 acre site to give dogs a "little bit of room" to run freely.
"It's going to look beautiful when we're done," Madden said of the work that began on Wednesday.
As he pointed toward a group of small trees that were crowded in one area and not receiving the proper nutrients, Madden said his students were cutting down the "undesirable" trees that were less than six inches in diameter. In addition, he said, some dead trees will be left undisturbed for the woodpeckers and islands of blueberry bushes would be left for the birds.
As far as his students, Madden said, they are getting hands-on training at the park that allows them to take what they've learned in the classroom and apply it in real life.
"I'm excited to come out and help the town," Somers High School senior Louis Antonelli said.
Brian Gray, Yorktown Parks and Recreation Superintendent, said his department has a limited number of staff members who would not have been able to finish the work in two days due to other projects they've been assigned to. Therefore the help the town is receiving from the students is "tremendous," he said.
"Not only is it beneficial for us, but it's beneficial for the kids of the program to see a real-life forest and revitalize [it]," Gray said. "I'm excited about the dog park because it will bring more people to the area. I feel this park is underutilized."
Gray said he hopes residents, who come to Sylvan Glen with their dogs, will go out of their comfort zone and explore everything else the town's parks have to offer. Sylvan Glen Park Preserve, a 200-acre site, connects to Granite Knolls Park, which then connects to Woodlands Park. There are opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross country and more.
(Trail maps are available at the Parks and Recreation office.)
Yorktown town officials approved on Sept. 3 a wetland application needed for the creation of the fenced-in, off-leash dog park, which will be named Sylvan Glen Paw Park. Read more about it here.
Yorktown Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Diana Quast said the next step is town officials getting quotes for the fencing of the dog park.