Newton Girls Soccer has distributed this email regarding a plan to add off-leash dog hours at Weeks and Forte fields in Newton.

To NGS families,

The leagues would like to extend their gratitude to the parents, coaches, board members, and public officials who have actively supported our efforts over the past two weeks to protect and maintain safe, sanitary, and high quality athletic fields.  Also, a special thank you goes to Ralph Ranalli for organizing and communicating these efforts on our behalf

Thanks to an intense lobbying effort and in-depth meetings with the city’s Off-Leash Working Group (OLWG), the hearing scheduled for May 21st on the proposal to turn Weeks and Forte fields into off-leash dog parks has been indefinitely postponed.

We have instead reached an agreement to work collaboratively with the OLWG on identifying and securing other sites around the city that could host fenced off-leash dog areas

As a general response to this pressing issue, the leagues have adopted the following positions:

  1. NGS and NYS support the efforts of pet owners to find appropriate places for their dogs to exercise and play.
  2. We oppose and will work to defeat any proposal for shared use of soccer and other youth athletic fields, playgrounds, and tot lots by dogs.
  3. Where there is adequate space available, we support the creation of fenced off-leash dog play areas.
  4. We will actively collaborate with off-leash advocates to find appropriate spaces and throw our support behind proposals on which we can agree.

Our cooperative and collaborative approach to this issue has resulted in significant support from city officials and the Parks & Recreation Department. In order to maintain this momentum, we have committed to a collaborative process going forward to help the off-leash dog advocates identify and create fenced dog-play areas around the city. We will soon begin an effort to “crowdsource” this process, asking the help of soccer families for their ideas on potential off-leash dog sites separate from soccer fields and other play areas for young people.

In the meantime, we are asking all soccer families and supporters to:

* Continue to voice your support for safe athletic fields in a positive and constructive manner.

* Do our part to maintain quality fields by picking up trash and recyclables after games and practices.



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