Dogs in East Boston are putting their paws together to celebrate the success of the neighborhood’s pet project, the Bremen Street Dog Park.
The park, located at the corner of Bremen and Porter streets, was opened by the Massachusetts Port Authority Monday morning at an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, though Massport chief executive Thomas Glynn said dogs began playing in the park several weeks ago.
“Today was really to thank the community and the elected officials for working with us to produce such a good facility,” Glynn said in an interview. “The whole dog park phenomenon is relatively new. . . . We’re one of the first neighborhoods to have a dog park.”
The park is broken into two sections, a 17,000-square-foot area for large dogs, and a 5,500-square-foot area for small dogs. Both sections have exercise equipment for the dogs, pet waste stations, and water fountains both for pets and their owners, Glynn said.
April Abenza, a 37-year-old dog owner who has lived in East Boston for 10 years, pushed for the park along with two of her neighbors, Blythe Berents and Andrew Pike. The three first took their idea in the spring of 2014 to city officials, who said they would need upwards of $300,000 to open the park.
Looking for a more financially viable option, Abenza said, they reached out to then-State Representative Carlo Basile, now chief secretary for Governor Charlie Baker. Basile connected the trio with Massport.
“I grew up in Seattle where there’s dog parks everywhere, but it seems like in Boston, it’s kind of this foreign concept,” Abenza said. “I’m seven months pregnant, and I live a block and a half from the park. Being able to go down there and sit and let the dog walk around and then not have a hyper dog in the house all day is a godsend.”
Glynn said Massport officials feel responsible for quality of life issues in East Boston and South Boston because the authority’s facilities are located in those neighborhoods. Logan International Airport is just over a mile away from the new dog park.
“I hope it makes people feel like there are some mitigating circumstances,” Glynn said. “Obviously, having an airport in your neighborhood is not everyone’s cup of tea.”
For residents, Abenza said, the dog park also creates a friendlier feeling by creating a place for neighbors and their pets to meet.
“I just really love that you can go there, I mean at 11 o’clock on a weekday, and there’s other dogs in the park, and you get to meet other neighbors that you wouldn’t have met before,” Abenza said. “It’s funny to see how different the dogs interact with each other and how the aggression or anxiety . . . is wiped away as they run around.”Felicia Gans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.