Town Council Approves Whitney Hill Protection - Will it be For the Dogs, Too?

The largest remaining forested area of Watertown will remain a nature preserve.


Nature lovers will be able to enjoy Watertown's largest remaining forested area for years to come after the Town Council approved a resolution to keep Whitney Hill as a nature preserve.

Part of the wooded area above Victory Field already had protection as park land, but the Town Council learned in September 2012 that two smaller parcels belonged to the Public Works.

Last Tuesday, the Town Council unanimously approved the resolution, which reads, in part, "Whitney Hill Park shall be preserved and maintained as natural wooded parkland for passive recreation and education purposes. ..." (See the whole resolution by clicking here.)

The area will be taken care of by the Department of Public Works, said DPW Superintendent Gerald Mee.

While the area will be open for people to walk through, the question of whether dogs will be able to come along remains unresolved. While talking to people about Whitney Hill, Town Councilor Vincent Piccirilli said the neighbors told him they to see Whitney Hill protected, and that that people enjoy walking their dogs through the area.  

Dogs are not allowed in other parks in town, he noted, but the Town Council will discuss whether to allow dogs on leashes to use Whitney Hill Park at their next meeting on Jan. 22.  

Have you been to Whitney Hill? Do you walk your dog there? Where are other good dog walking spots in Watertown? Share in the comment section below.

Karl Huntington Neugebauer January 14, 2013 at 02:54 PM
The parks have signs indicated that "Dogs are not allowed," but that doesn't stop people from letting them "walk" leashed or unleashed. While the majority pick up after their dogs, there is an increasing number of dog owners who let them run freely and fail to notice where their dogs defecate, thereby creating a problem for children and parents utilizing the playing fields for sports and recreation. I would recommend that dogs be allowed at most parks but leashed and that we install the typical dog info post with attached poop baggies with receptacle for said poop. As for Whitney Hill, many people and I mean Many people walk their dogs unleashed and there seems to be alot of dog excrement throughout the 10 or so acres.
Charlie Breitrose (Editor) January 14, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Karl, that's an interesting idea - putting up the baggies for dogs in town parks. Would that help, or would people rather see a designated dog park? A group in town has been pushing for one to be created - likely at one of the town's parks but not Whitney Hill.
K Coyne January 14, 2013 at 04:50 PM
I live near Whitney Hill, do not have a dog(and frequent the hill) and do not have a problem with the dogs there. This has been the one location dog owners can let their dogs get some exercise without bothering most people. Dog bag locations would be great as long as owners use them and discard of them properly(which most do IMO). Unfortunately it only takes one dog to really mess up a playing field(not a natural area) with loads of kids and foot traffic. Whitney Hill has paths and is more of a natural area where animals of all sorts live(and yes poop:>). I would like to see the practice of allowing dogs on Whitney Hill continue and possibly a large sign stressing the need for cleaning up after their dogs(along with bags) would help.
Joanne Gerber January 14, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Receptacles with poop bags are a great idea. Whenever I visit Beaver Brook in Belmont, I leave some dog bags in the receptacle at the entrance, Sometimes you just need to put things right in front of people to create awareness. We need a dog park in our own town!
patti days January 14, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Dog park and poop bags! Totally ridiculous. May I ask, who will pay for the bags, or will there be a charge on site ? Who will control the number of bags taken by dog owner? Also, who will remove from the "dog park" that which is not picked up, and how will that person be paid for his service? As taxes continue to rise, another cost to taxpayers seems unfair. Watertown taxpayer


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »