So what has Parks and Pastimes been up to?
- On May 6, the Canine Commons at Beaver Dam Park, the Town of Bedford's new dog park, officially opened! It was a gala event with many community members, politicians, members of Bedford D.O.G., recreation and parks department staff, media, several young people and at least a dozen dogs in attendance! Dr. Glasser attended with her spouse and their two dogs, Moxie and Mabel. As promised when Dr. Glasser retired, a tree was planted in the new dog park commemorating her involvement with the creation of the dog park from the very beginning, nearly 5 years earlier! In front of the young white oak tree, the plague reads "This oak tree is planted with appreciation to Dr. Marilynn R. Glasser, Director of Leisure and Human Services, Town of Bedford Recreation and Parks Department, A dedicated professional in the field of Recreation and Parks for 28 years and a visionary of the Bedford Canine Commons Dog Park". This was a very special honor!
- In March, Dr. Glasser met with a resident from the Town of Moreau, NY who is working on a dog park project with other interested community dog owners. Plans and strategy were discussed and they visited a proposed site in an existing park.
- Several residents from the City of Stamford, CT recently contacted Dr. Glasser about a planned dog park. She met with them at the proposed site and discussed the design and components as well as layout possibilities.
- Dr. Glasser attended the annual auditions program sponsored by the Westchester Recreation and Park Society. This program features a variety of children's entertainers for summer recreation and parks programs.
- Since fall 2007, the Bedford Dog Owners Group's newsletter, "Unleashed", has featured an article written by Dr. Glasser entitled "A Moment with Marilynn". The article has highlighted a variety of topics about dog parks; the latest is subtitled, "So What Have We Learned?" reflecting on the recent official opening of Bedford's dog park.
- At the recent New York State Recreation and Park Society Annual Conference and Business Expo, Dr. Glasser conducted several educational sessions as well as serving as a moderator for a session. She presented sessions on dog parks, part-time and seasonal recreation positions for college students and a session for first-time conference attendees. She moderated a session about master planning for parks and recreation departments. While at the conference, Dr. Glasser also had the opportunity to enjoy an interesting behind-the-scenes tour of Six Flags Great Escape White Water Bay, an indoor water park.
- Through the winter months, Dr. Glasser was a substitute teacher in the Brewster Central School District - mostly for classes in the middle and high schools. It provided an opportunity for her to re-connect with young people since retiring from the Town of Bedford Recreation and Parks Department in 2005.
- In April, Dr. Glasser conducted her Dog Parks 101 presentation at a quarterly meeting of the Connecticut Recreation and Parks Association at the Wethersfield Community Center. The presentation was followed by a luncheon and then an on-site tour of the newly opened Wethersfield Dog Park! There were a total of approximately 30 recreation and park professionals in attendance from throughout Connecticut. The majority of the attendees were exploring the creation of a dog park in their communities while some were already in various stages of development.
- Dr. Glasser recently attended a symposium at Lehman College conducted by Dr. Drew Appleby from Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis. The topic, "Overcoming the Blindness of Expertise: A Three-Part Strategy", primarily concerned college students transitioning from high school into college.
- Parks and Pastimes, Inc. has begun working with Peggy Payne & Associates/The Playground Medic. The focus involves playground safety and supervision and Dr. Glasser is currently researching several related topics and issues for them.
- Dr. Glasser was recently asked to prepare an article on dog parks for Parks & Rec Business magazine. The article is a basic "how-to" on creating a dog park, similar in concept to her "Dog Parks 101" PowerPoint presentation. The article will be published within the next several months.
- New Rochelle Parks and Recreation Commissioner Bill Zimmermann asked Dr. Glasser to visit the dog park being developed there. It is a large, three acre site, being developed in-house, by the parks staff. It has the potential of being a terrific dog park when completed! Interestingly, the fencing is NOT chain link but a much less expensive, but strong, material. If this material proves viable and holds up well over time, it may enable communities to create dog parks at a greatly reduced cost! The fencing is aesthetically pleasing and can be installed in such a way as to easily adapt back to chain link if necessary. In addition, Dr. Glasser followed the visit with an evaluative report and several recommendations.
- Dr. Glasser has begun working with a residents group from Carmel, NY along with their recreation director, Jim Gilchrist. They have selected a site for a dog park and Dr. Glasser attended the Town Board meeting where approval and a go-ahead was provided. Development is anticipated to begin within the next several weeks.
- A recent meeting of the Westchester County Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, of which Dr. Glasser is a member, featured reviewing the proposed new design of Westchester County's huge Tibbetts Brook Park Swimming Pool. The meeting took place at the park, in the large bathhouse overlooking the pool. Several Westchester County PRC staff members assisted the committee in with reviewing and explaining the extensive plans.
- Parks and Pastimes, Inc. recently purchased a camera specifically selected for photographing and videoing dog parks and dog park activities. It is a high resolution Nikon digital camera that should improve the quality of the photographs used in future informational dog park presentations.