Recreation

Photo by Gerard Romano

Due to a shortage of lifeguards, the Town of Huntington is closing four of its eight beaches to swimming starting Thursday, August 26. 

       BEACHES CLOSED TO SWIMMING 

     Swim lines and lifeguard stands will be removed at the following beaches for the remainder of the season: 

  • Asharoken Beach, Eaton’s Neck Road, Northport 
  • Crescent Beach, Crescent Beach Drive, Huntington Bay 
  • Fleets Cove Beach, Fleets Cove Road, Centerport 
  • Gold Star Battalion Beach, West Shore Road, Huntington 

    “No lifeguard on Duty” and “No Swimming Allowed” signs will also be posted. Town of Huntington residents may visit the beaches closed to bathing but they must stay out of the water. 

    BEACHES OPEN TO SWIMMING (TOWN OF HUNTINGTON RESIDENTS ONLY) 

     The following beaches will remain open to swimming for the remainder of the season:

  • Centerport Beach, Little Neck Road, Centerport 
  • Crab Meadow Beach*, Waterside Avenue, Northport 
  • Hobart Beach, Birmingham Drive, Eaton’s Neck (Info on Seasonal Closure of Bird Preserve) 
  • Quentin Sammis West Neck Beach, West Neck Road, Lloyd Harbor 
    Contact the Main Beach Office located at Crab Meadow Beach at (631) 261-7574 seven days a week from 9 a.m. thru 3 p.m. now through Labor Day to inquire if the beaches are open or closed for bathing as per the County of Suffolk Department of Health Services. 

     You may also contact the Suffolk County Bathing Beach Water Quality Hotline for beach closings throughout Suffolk County at (631) 852-5822.

Photo by Dawn Olenick
Nine beaches remain closed

Broadway Beach, Tides Beach, and Terraces on the Sound Beach, all in Rocky Point, are closed to bathing due to the findings of bacteria at levels in excess of acceptable criteria. The following beaches remain closed due to high levels of bacteria:  Tanner Park Beach in Copiague, Benjamin Beach in Bay Shore, Gold Star Battalion Park Beach in Huntington, Venetian Shores Beach in Lindenhurst, Corey Beach and Bayport Beach in Bayport, West Islip Beach, Amityville Beach, and Sayville Marina Park Beach.

According to Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gregson Pigott, bathing in bacteria-contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness, as well as infections of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.

Beaches will reopen when further testing reveals that the bacteria have subsided to acceptable levels.

For the latest information on affected beaches, call the Bathing Beach HOTLINE at 852-5822 or contact the Department’s Office of Ecology at 852-5760 during normal business hours.

Program information –

http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/EnvironmentalQuality/Ecology/BeachMonitoringProgram.aspx

Interactive map of beach closures/advisories- https://ny.healthinspections.us/ny_beaches/

Photo by Alex Petroski

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR AUG. 28 and 29 DUE TO THE WEATHER.

By Kimberly Brown

This weekend bring your friends and family to Port Jefferson Harbor to experience the legendary and captivating Sikaflex “Quick and Dirty” Boat Building Competition. 

Sponsored by the Sika Corporation, a supplier of marine adhesives and sealants,  the event provides would-be boat designers and builders a chance to showcase their creative skills and talents.

Photo by Alex Petroski

Hosted by the Long Island Seaport and Eco Center (LISEC), the tenth annual competition will be held over a two-day period, Aug. 21 and 22. On Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., visitors can watch two-member teams, who are working under a time limit of five hours, build their boats in the parking lot of Harborfront Park next to Bayles Boat Shop. 

“It’s great to be back,” said Len Carolan, the event’s coordinator. “This year we have about ten teams, so it seems like everyone is ready to get out there and have some fun again and that’s what it’s meant to be about.”

The challenge? Not only do the contestants have to finish constructing their makeshift boat within a few hours, but they are also expected to assemble it using a mere supply of plywood, plastic cable ties, and Sikaflex sealant — no nails or screws allowed!

On Sunday from 9 a.m to noon, the teams will finish painting their masterpieces, covering the boat in fun designs, and patterns. Finally, at 2 p.m, the teams will race each other in Port Jefferson Harbor to compete for first prize. 

“I think the time limit is what keeps some people away from trying because they’re thinking ‘How could we build a boat in five hours?’ but it gets done and always turns out great,” Carolan said.

Teams ranking in first, second, and third place will receive trophies for their boat racing success, but there will also be a prize for the team that has the most original design. Following the award ceremony, LISEC will raffle off a special item made at the Bayles Boat Shop. “We thought we should do something a little different for the raffle this year, so we built a 14-foot stand-up paddle board at the shop,” Carolan said. “We have one team that builds a different raffle boat each year — next year we will have a 16-foot canoe.”

Tickets for the raffle range between $5 and $20 and the paddle board will be on display throughout the weekend.

According to Carolan, the “Quick and Dirty” boat race is still welcoming teams to join in on the fun. The entry fee is $100 and each team must seek a sponsor, or sponsor themselves. Local businesses are encouraged to sponsor this annual event. 

For more information on how to participate, visit www.lisec.org or contact Len Carolan at [email protected] 

 

From left, Councilman Ed Smyth; Senior Bay Constable Jeff Kropp; Councilwoman Joan Cergol; Senior Harbormaster and Interim Maritime Services Director Fred Uvena; Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci; Jackie Martin; Ed Carr, Commodore of GHCYBC; and members of GHCYBC. Photo from TOH

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Town officials, the Town Harbormaster, Bay Contables and members of the Greater Huntington Council of Yachting and Boating Clubs met at Mill Dam Marina in Halesite on Thursday, May 27 to promote boating safety for boaters and kayakers.

Saturday, May 22 kicked off Huntington’s Boating Safety Week heading into Memorial Day weekend. May, June, July and August are the busiest times for boating on Long Island.

“We expect high volume turnout on the water this year. Our Harbormaster’s Office averaged one rescue per day last season for boaters and kayakers,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “Kayakers: Don’t get out on the water before learning how to extricate yourself from an overturned kayak or how to get back into or on your kayak in deep water while you wait for rescue. Test yourself – not alone – but practice with a partner, sit in your kayak in shallow water, and turn the kayak over. Do not learn the hard way.”

“We Huntington residents are fortunate for our proximity to the waterfront, but that privilege comes responsibility. I want to thank the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs for helping Huntington meet one of our most important responsibilities: safety on the water. Each year the Boating Council sponsors an invaluable array of boating education classes for people of all ages and is a generous contributor of improvements to our waterfront and toward the well-being of boaters. Their public service is exemplary,” said Councilwoman Joan Cergol.

Councilman Ed Smyth reminded boaters that they can pick up spare lifejackets available at the Harbormaster’s office at the Halesite Marina, adding advice for kayakers, whom the Town has seen in increase in activity over the past year, “Kayakers should take note of offshore winds before getting out on the water — if you’re not careful, you may end up in Connecticut waters.”

Senior Harbormaster Fred Uvena warned that his team of Bay Constables are well-trained to spot intoxicated boaters and they are prepared to make BWI arrests. He warned against speeding and the dangerous wakes speeding boats create, also advising boaters to include baby aspirin in their first aid kits, and even ibuprofen as a precaution against anaphylactic shock from bee stings and other allergic responses that may occur over the waterways.

Boaters may call VHF Channel 16 for emergencies and VHF Channel 9 for pump-out service. The Harbormaster’s Office is located at 53 N. New York Avenue, Halesite, NY, open Monday through Saturday 8:30am to 4:30pm, office phone (631) 351-3255.

Jackie Martin of the Greater Huntington Council of Yachting and Boating Clubs reviewed highlights from Huntington’s 9th Annual Safe Boating Week, which was established after three children lost their lives in a preventable boating tragedy in 2012. She advised boaters, “you are responsible for your wake.”

The Harbormaster also reminded beachgoers of the reason dogs are not allowed on the sand at any beach, “Children play in the sand and you cannot clean up pet urine so please, respect your fellow residents and do not allow your dog on the sand, it’s unsanitary – keep them in the parking lot or on boardwalks.”

Supervisor Lupinacci also advised boaters and kayakers not to disturb the bird sanctuary at Hobart Beach, as landing boats and kayaks on the sand in the area of the preserve can have significant unintentional consequences for the endangered birds nesting there.

“Please heed the signs and fencing, stay away from the water and sand in the entire area located south of the parking lot during the birds’ mating season, which runs from early April through August.”

All trespassers in the sanctuary, including on foot, should be reported to the Department of Public Safety’s 24/7 emergency hotline at (631) 351-3234.

VIDEO: https://huntingtonny.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=4&clip_id=2531

 

 

Town of Brookhaven's Cedar Beach. Photo by Kyle Barr

In response to the expected high temperatures Monday,  July 27,  and Tuesday, July 28, the Town of Brookhaven has extended the hours at Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai, West Meadow Beach in Stony Brook
and Corey Beach in Blue Point.  Lifeguards will be on duty and restrooms will be open until 7 p.m. on both days, instead of the normal 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Davis Park and Great Gun Beaches will be open as normal from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The town’s Holtsville Pool will remain open as normal with two sessions daily from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and
2:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The pool is open for residents only. Online pre-registration and payment is required. Go to www.BrookhavenNY.gov/HoltsvillePool for more details. Social distancing is required and strictly enforced at the Holtsville Pool, town beaches and all town parks and recreation facilities.

A Brookhaven Town resident parking sticker is required for beach and pool parking. The sticker can only be
purchased online at www.BrookhavenNY.gov/Stickers. For more information, call 631-451-TOWN (8696) or visit www.BrookhavenNY.gov. Beaches are open to Brookhaven town residents only.

Anthony Amen, back middle, with his emplyees at Redefine Fitness in Mount Sinai. Photo from Anthony Amen

As a result of gyms and other fitness centers being taken off Phase 4 of New York State’s  coronavirus reopening plan, owners across the state, including some in Suffolk County, are suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), the state attorney general and the State of New York in a class action suit. 

The suit, which was filed earlier this month in state Supreme Court by Syosset-based Mermigis Law Group, alleges that the governor’s shutdown orders violated the plaintiff’s due process. 

“The unequal, random, arbitrary and unfair treatment has continued in the reopening guidance,” the document states. “Tattoo parlors, tanning salons, health spas and dentists are allowed to open their doors, but gyms remain locked down.”

The group of businesses is suing the state for $500 million, for what plaintiffs claim is hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. As a result the businesses have had to lay off at least 70,000 employees statewide. In addition, they are seeking an injunction of the executive order, so they can reopen their gyms. 

A representative from Gov. Cuomo’s office did not respond for comment in time for press time. 

According to court documents, “several hundred members” are a part of the lawsuit, though that number is expected to increase. The primary plaintiff in the case is Thousand Island Fitness Center, based in Jefferson County on the state’s northern border. The suit originated on Long Island with Charles Cassara, owner of SC Fitness, with locations in Hicksville and Farmingdale. Almost 5,000 individuals have joined Cassara’s private Facebook group Fitness Industry Vs. NY Class action lawsuit.

Anthony Amen, owner of Redefine Fitness in Mount Sinai, is one of the many gym owners represented in the suit. 

“All we’re asking for is a shot, we need to get open, let us follow all the [Centers for Disease Control] guidelines — we are not going to make it [if gyms remain closed],” he said. “You can get a massage, you can get acupuncture, you get a tattoo, you can go to a mall that is all indoors, but you can’t come to do one-on-one training.”

Amen’s gym lost about 80 percent of its clients due to the shutdown. The Mount Sinai gym owner said the last few weeks have been a whirlwind, and at one point he thought he would be able to reopen as he provides a “personal service.” 

“We reopened June 10, because I called the county and I asked them, ‘Hey, we do personal training, can I open as a personal service, do one-on-one training only, we follow all CDC guidelines.’ They told me OK,” Amen said. “Fast forward five days, I get a call from the governor’s office, threatening me with a $10,000 fine and ordering me to close down immediately and saying that I wasn’t allowed to be open. I told them that I spoke to the county, and they said the county lied to you.”

Currently gyms are only allowed to do outside training, though Amen says that for him and other gyms it is just not feasible to do that long term, especially during the summer months. Gyms were expected to reopen July 8 under Phase 4. 

“It was 90 degrees almost every day last week, totally humid,” he said. “I started training people at 9 o’clock in the morning, and even at that time it is a lot to ask of people. They are going to pass out or have a heat stroke.”

Studies on whether gyms are safe are divided. A Norwegian study, cited in the lawsuit, found that individuals who decided to work out at gyms were not at a greater risk of contracting coronavirus. On the flip side, in a paper published by the CDC, researchers in South Korea discovered 112 COVID-19 cases linked to fitness classes in 12 locations. 

Ed Darcey, owner of Personal Fitness in Rocky Point. Photo from Facebook

Ed Darcey, owner of Personal Fitness Club in Rocky Point, had similar sentiments. He too has signed onto the class action suit.

“These past 18 weeks have been really frustrating — all we want is the ability to reopen again,” he said.

Darcey, who has run his gym for the past 31 years, initially thought that his business would only be closed for a short time. That thought quickly faded as the severity of the pandemic became evident. He said believes he can run his businesses safely.

“Let us open our doors again, so we can get our business flowing,” Darcey said. “Fitness people want to help each other.” 

The Miller Place resident referred to the gyms as a “second family” to people, adding that he misses being around his clients and helping them with their goals.

“A lot of our clients here see the gym as a mental and physical outlet,” he said. “That’s been taken away from them.” 

Darcey said because of the governor’s decision, they weren’t given the opportunity to bounce back like other industries that have been given the green light to reopen, adding that ‘it doesn’t make sense that gyms are left out.

“I might be able to make it through, but some of my peers aren’t [going to],” the gym owner said. “They’ve put their heart and souls into this industry, it’s heartbreaking.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Darcey’s gym. At press time, $6,365 has been raised since July 1.

“Ed Darcey has supported every single person that has walked in and out of the door of that gym,” the fundraiser states.

Amen said the situation is bleak for gym owners, saying they are struggling to pay bills with no revenue coming on. 

“Gyms are rent heavy, and payroll light — we are still getting billed,” he said. “We are trying to get the landowners involved in the lawsuit because rent payments are the biggest expense and it is unfair for them too.”

The gym owner feels frustrated being left out in the dark. 

“We don’t get into this business to make money, we do it to help people,” Amen said. “How are we not relevant — it’s unfair, we need to be heard.”

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Tesla Science Center Executive Director Marc Alessi at the current Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe in Shoreham. Photo by Kevin Redding

When the pandemic swept through Long Island in the past few months, when businesses closed and schools went online, the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe in Shoreham has had to reimagine its efforts while hoping to still have in-person events at newly renovated buildings next year.

Last October, the nonprofit submitted its site plans to the Town of Brookhaven, with designs including first renovating the small, two-story house at the front of the property before starting renovations on the lab itself. Marc Alessi, the executive director of the science center, said construction had to halt due to the pandemic, but now the project has resumed after Phase 1 of reopening.

But in that time, the center has laterally moved its focus, according to the nonprofits’ executive director. Moving on to the virtual medium has allowed the center to refocus its education efforts, he said, while compelling them to come up with new fundraising opportunities. 

“It’s gratifying that even before we open our doors we’re starting to provide that content and this programming,” Alessi said.

From June into this month, the center has promoted multiple online activities. This includes a Sprint for STEAM: 5k Virtual Run/Walk/Roll for Virtual Education, where the center is hoping to raise $125,000 for virtual education programs through support or donations. The center has also started a Virtual Summer STEAM Camp for kids, led by the center’s new education director Hannah Weiss. Later this month, the center is also starting a Virtual Education Certificate Program with the New York Institute of Technology, which will specifically help teachers learn about different technologies used in distance learning. Alessi said several school districts nationally, plus a few on Long Island, will be participating, and kids from other states and even other countries are looking to participate in the virtual summer camp. This is in addition to the center’s Tesla Unwired video podcasts with scientists and other people in the tech world, which started back in April.

Alessi said this move to digital education meant they had a better foothold in a lagging economy being slammed by the pandemic.

“With everything that’s happening, we’re going all in on providing this virtual content,” he said. “We hired an education coordinator. We didn’t lay off staff, we hired staff during this crisis.”

The center is also hosting its annual Tesla Birthday Bash on July 11 differently this year, with demonstrations of a 17-foot Tesla Coil being hosted online, and the center will be showing an online and drive-in version of the movie “Tesla” several weeks before it comes out. Tickets for the drive-in screening are $150 per car, with the money going to support the center’s online education initiatives.

The science center came to be in 2012, when along with the website The Oatmeal, a small North Shore nonprofit, purchased the land with $1.4 million raised to help purchase the land. Alessi, who was brought on as executive director in 2016, said restoring the site and creating a museum is a $20 million project, of which they have raised $10 million in the past few years.

“We always felt this was a world historic site, and the fact that the world saved it really multiplies that feeling,” Alessi said.

As reconstruction continues on the laboratory building, famous for its historical nature also having been designed by renowned early 20th-century architect Stanford White, it unveils new mysteries. Workers rebuilding the chimney on the lab itself uncovered an arched brick opening in the base of the eastern chimney wall June 5, and the science center is still trying to understand why that was built into the original structure. 

Otherwise, the site plans for the larger context of the Tesla Center are still under review with the Town of Brookhaven.

But the future of the site still depends largely on what happens in the next year or so. Just like many places billing themselves as galleries or museums, many who want crowds to be able to come through and visit are depending on a vaccine for COVID-19 to more effectively ensure visitors’ safety.

“We’re lucky we’ve always stayed very lean as far as operations, and we’ve been able to create these air-tight budgets for this year,” Alessi said. “If this crisis lasts another year into next year, it could impact our programming.”

National Night Out attendees in Brookhaven enjoy the Centreach Pool Complex. Photo from Suffolk County Police Department

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) recent announcement that the state would allow public pools to reopen at the discretion of local municipalities was received as good news for residents in Suffolk County who rely on such facilities for recreational use and to cool off the summer heat. For local town governments, they will have to consider not only the safety of patrons but also whether they still have the resources in place to operate their pools. 

The Dix Hill pool could potentially reopen depending on a debate within the Town of Huntington. Photo from TOH

Two weeks ago, in a joint press release, town supervisors from Babylon, Brookhaven, Islip, Smithtown and Huntington said they would close their pools to avoid further potential coronavirus spread. 

Since then, at least two municipalities on the North Shore may be reconsidering their initial decision. 

Huntington spokesperson Lauren Lembo said in a statement that it is something the town “has been discussing after the successful reopening of the beaches.” At this time, the town hasn’t officially announced anything on pools reopening yet, but Lembo added that a safety plan and staffing resources are currently being assessed.

Huntington town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) also weighed in. 

“Based on the successful phased reopening of our beaches with new safety measures in place, we are more confident now that we can provide an equally safe and fun experience at the Dix Hills Pool this summer, which will be open for our summer camps,” he said in a statement. “We are considering plans to open the pool to residents only in the coming weeks.”

Brookhaven’s public pools will remain closed, according to town spokesperson Kevin Molloy. Though the town’s spray parks will reopen later this month. 

In Smithtown, spokesperson Nicole Garguilo said officials want to see the number of COVID-19 cases in the town continue to decrease before they make any potential decisions. 

“We want that metric to continue to go down —there is a lot involved in reopening our pools,” she said. “If it is safe enough, we would consider it.”

There are a number of issues they would have to address. Smithtown’s three public pools are all located at Smithtown Landing Country Club. 

Garguilo said in addition to implementing the proper safety precautions they would need to assess if they still have the available resources to operate all three pools. 

“For us, it’s making sure the recreation director has those resources, he has to go out and get 

lifeguards and pool operators to staff these pools,” she said. “We might have enough staff for only two pools.”

Dr. Sharon Nachman, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, said municipalities will have to go about their reopenings differently. 

“Not all pools have the same footprint, some have more space than others,” she said. “To keep people safe, towns might go to reduced occupancy.”

Nachman said there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through the water used in pools. Proper operation and disinfection should kill the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Despite that, the infectious disease expert reiterated that patrons still need to proceed with caution. 

“If you’re with your family, stay together, spread yourself out from others and stay six feet apart. Do not crowd around the pool,” she said. “If you’re sick or feel sick do not come to a public pool.”

Nachman also mentioned that if you plan on bringing food to be careful, as it is another source of infection. 

“Everyone has to do their part, we are all part of community protection,” she said. 

Cole Swensen, a Boy Scout in Miller Place Troop 204. created a bench and concrete pads along the Setauket-Port Jefferson Station Greenway Trail. Photo by Kyle Barr

With the weather warming, and with more people available to take walks while home from work and school (maintaining social distancing, of course), one local Boy Scout’s Eagle Scout Service Project has made a lasting impact.

Port Jefferson resident Cole Swensen, a member of Miller Place Boy Scout Troop 204, installed a bench, along with concrete pads on the Setauket-Port Jefferson Station Greenway Trail earlier this month. 

“I’m happy with the finished product,” Swensen said.

Swensen, a senior at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in Port Jefferson, said he and his dad use the trail often for running and biking and saw there was a need for a new bench, made from wood composite, at the top of the hill just after the westernmost trail entrance in Setauket. The young man also installed three concrete pads on the trail, one at his new bench and two more at existing benches.

“These pads not only clean up the look of the benches and trail, but they also prevent the area in front of the benches from getting muddy,” Swensen said. “It also is a place for strollers to easily get off the main trail.”

Charlie McAteer, the chair of the Friends of the Greenway, said Troop 204 has been a huge boon to the trail, having done five projects with the Greenway, with one more still in the planning phase. This new project comes just as the Greenway is getting increased usage thanks to more people looking to spend time outdoors while maintaining a distance from others.

“This is a remarkable commitment to the Setauket to Port Jeff Station Greenway Trail,” McAteer said. “The community will be enjoying these for decades.”

The high school senior said he had been working on the project since before last summer but had to put it on pause after a severe bike accident led to a concussion. He conducted his fundraising last month, just as things with the coronavirus crisis were starting to close in. Still, he managed to raise about $1,000 toward the project. The build was over a three-day period with the bulk of the work centered on installing the new bench and making sure the concrete pads were leveled against the slope of the hill.

Swensen said he is still waiting on the finalized paperwork for his Eagle Scout application, since all offices are closed everything now has to be mailed.

After graduating high school, Swensen expects to attend SUNY Maritime to study naval architecture, involved in designing the hulls of boats and ships. 

Swensen’s father, Eric, said his son has been interested in boats and sailing since he was young.

Dogs will be permitted into Huntington’s Heckscher Park begining Jan. 1. Photo by Media Origins

On Jan. 1, the Town of Huntington will begin a three-month pilot program to allow leashed dogs in Heckscher Park, subject to certain limitations. If the trial period is successful, the pilot will extend in three-month increments to gather data from use of the park in different seasons.

The program is the result of a town board resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Joan Cergol (D), developed in response to a petition that circulated this past summer calling for better access to the park for dogs and their owners.

Greenlawn resident Karen Thomas helped draft and circulate the successful petition campaign this past summer.

“Over 2,500 dog owners have spoken and the Huntington board listened,” said Thomas.

Cergol announced her position on opening up the park to dogs on a trial basis in a Sept. 5 Times of Huntington news article. The resolution she drafted was unanimously approved at the town’s Oct. 16 board meeting.

“The relationship between dogs and humans continues to evolve, and it is becoming increasingly common to see dog owners and their canine family members together in public places,” Cergol said. “I am excited that we are about to extend this option at Huntington’s downtown signature park and look forward to our partnership with [the nonprofit Long Island Dog Owners Group] in ensuring the pilot program’s success.”

LI-DOG is a nonprofit advocacy group looking to increase access for dog owners to public spaces. It’s president, Ginny Munger Kahn, was designated as the lead public education campaign coordinator.

“Our job is to make sure all the dog owners know that it’s in their best interest to follow the basic guidelines,” she said. “Overall, respect other park users. That’s the key.”

Specifically, this means keeping dogs on a leash less than 6-feet long and under control. No retractable leashes are allowed, and people are limited to no more than two dogs per individual. People are also expected to clean up after their dogs once they do their business. People, Kahn said, are good with this part.

“People have precedence over dogs on the path,” Kahn said. “Step off the path onto the grass as people pass by unimpeded.”

Heckscher Park’s trails, which are more narrow than other town pathways, suggest that this is an important part of the guidelines to remember.

Cergol formed an advisory committee that includes representatives of her staff, various town departments, LI-DOG and the town’s Citizens Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities to create the educational program. The group has met twice and has developed program guidelines from those gatherings and individual conversations.

The committee has so far planned to post signage at various spots in the park, including all the major entrances. A video to be aired on the town’s government access television channel and on its social media pages and LI-DOG’s pages will demonstrate what is allowed and what is not. They’ve also developed informational cards to hand out to dog owners in the park.

“We believe ultimately having leashed dogs in the park is a really good thing,” Kahn said. “For one thing, dogs influence socializing among people who don’t know each other.”

They also deter geese, which are fouling the parks pathways.