Marlboro High School senior Emma Greiner has been a Girl Scout in Apple Valley Troop 60050 for nearly a decade. She recently approached the Town Board to see if it was possible to install a water fountain at the Milton Landing Dog Park off Sands Avenue for the pets as her final Girl Scout Gold Award project. She said the award is equivalent to the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. She is hoping to complete the project before winter sets in.
After recently visiting the dog park, Greiner highlighted an ongoing problem at the park.
“The lack of a water source is a problem when owners forget to bring a water bottle for their pet, especially in the heat of summer,” she said. “Although there are scattered water bowels available at the dog park, there is nowhere to refill them and they are filthy.”
Greiner said the lack of clean, readily available water is a “huge” problem because more than 90% of a dog’s weight is made up of water and just a 10% loss can cause severe illnesses, such as decreased capillary refill time, a weak pulse, sunken eyes, a loss of skin moisture and sticky mucous membranes. A dehydration level of more than 15% can result in death. She said an easy solution would be to install a water fountain for all dogs at the park. She said she is looking at one possible fountain that could provide water to dogs and people.
Greiner said she would raise money for the fountain station, which costs about $4,000, and would help lay down a concrete slab foundation. She would also reach out to the public to educate them on the dangers posed by dehydration and create and provide informative pamphlets at the park.
Greiner said she will need the Town Board’s permission to set up the fountain, run a 400 foot water line into the park, hook up a line to the fountain and designate an adviser to oversee her project.
Greiner provided the board with an aerial view showing where the water line would need to be extended to the dog park. She trusts the board will see that her project is a benefit to the dog park and to the community.
“I hope that you will be able to offer me your permission and assistance as I strive to complete my Girl Scout Gold Award,” she said.
Councilman Allan Koenig said getting a water line into the park would not be difficult but making sure that it is 42 inches underground to prevent freezing and to stop bacteria growth may prove challenging. Overall Koenig favors the project, calling it “a great idea and a nice addition to the dog park, which is used a lot.”
Supervisor Al Lanzetta said the town may not presently be in a financial position to install a proper water line into the park, “but Councilman Koenig had the idea to put in a temporary line. In the summertime we can turn the water on and just before freezing we turn it off.”
Lanzetta said this plan would cost about $500 according to the town’s Water Superintendent.
“At this particular point, I don’t think the board would have any problem helping you out as far as the water is concerned,” he said. “I think that’s a solution for the time being.”
Lanzetta said the fountain would have to be checked by the Ulster County Board of Health and with the town’s Water Superintendent to see that it can provide safe drinking water to the pets and to the public.
Lanzetta said he would help Greiner put in a foundation for the fountain and act as her adviser on the project.
“This is a great project and I think everyone will enjoy the fountain. You’ve got the board’s support,” he said.
Greiner thanked the board.
“I have to get it approved through Girl Scouts but this is my first step, so I really appreciate your time,” she said.
Anyone interested in contributing to Emma’s Gold Award project can make a donation through venmo.com/Rosemary-Greiner or contact the troop leader at email@example.com for other options. No amount is too small when your goal is so big!