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Chester County Press

Editorial: Until further notice

04/12/2016 12:42PM ● By Richard Gaw
Soon after Goddard Park in West Grove opened five years ago, its dog park -- a fenced-in pasture where local canines of all shapes and sizes could roam -- became what some in London Grove Township had waited for: A social gathering space.
Word quickly spread, and within weeks, the dog park was the hottest night spot in town. For these past five years, it has remained so, and a recent tour of the park’s Facebook page reveals photos that attest to its popularity.
At the April 6 London Grove Township meeting, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to close the dog park until May 5, near the time when they will reevaluate the idea of reopening it. The reason: Dog waste is not being placed in the appropriate containers. It is being placed in regular trash or recycling containers. It is being left in various including along trails, and there have been reports that the waste is being left everywhere – in the dog park, in the public areas, in parking lots and along the trail system. In a complete act of laziness, there have been reports that the dog waste is being deposited in the “toy bin.”
This disregard for the regulations handed down by the township is an act of complete irresponsibility, no doubt perpetuated by a small percentage of short-sighted individuals who have no sense of common decency, nor even the willingness to get there. The township has received numerous phone calls and e-mails alerting them to this disgrace and, moreover, the task of cleaning up the mess caused by these residents is now the responsibility of the township’s Public Works Department.
We believe that the London Grove Township Supervisors were correct in their decision to close the dog park for at least the next month, and we’ll even go further in our support by suggesting that if the problem is not rectified, the township should issue an ordinance permanently shutting down the dog park and banning dogs from every public area.
The 125-acre park is a gift to residents -- the result of more than a decade-long commitment by the township and the Goddard family to provide a public backyard, a haven for watching children grow up, and to give people the opportunity to quietly commune with nature. What a pathetic commentary it is that some people have absolutely no respect for the gifts they have been given.