The town reopened the dog park at the end of September after it was closed for resodding.
Farrah Fawcett no longer needs her pink coat during her morning visits to Bayfront Park.
Longboat Key resident Dick Lyons’ fluffy-furred friend doesn’t get nearly as dirty now that the town’s only dog park is resodded with fresh grass. Before, the dog’s pink jacket would help keep some of the dirt off her white fur.
Lyons explained how his wife doesn’t need to clean their beloved family dog as frequently.
“If I took her home dirty all the time, I’d get in trouble, so I don’t have to worry about it anymore,” Lyons said of his dog nicknamed after the glamorous 1980s TV and movie star.
Farrah Fawcett now dons a scarf with her name on it.
“She gets to meet all her old buddies, and gets to make some new friends at the new park,” Lyons said.
Longboat Key reopened the dog park at Bayfront Park at the end of September. It had been closed since mid-July for resodding.
Dog owner Peter Larson was one of the residents who wrote to the Longboat Key Town Commission earlier this year to ask whether something could be done.
“It looks like the way it looked when they opened it a few years back,” Larson said.
Streets, Facilities, Parks and Recreation Manager Mark Richardson said the town paid Bradenton-based Prestige Sod Service $6,250 for the project. Richardson has said the town plans to allocate funding to its capital budget to resod the dog park every three years. Bayfront Park’s dog park initially opened in 2017.
Larson expressed his appreciation for Richardson and the town’s efforts.
“The place looks great, and it’s such an improvement over what it was,” Larson said.
Dog groomer and toy poodle owner Fannie Bushin noticed something different about the park.
“The flies are gone,” Bushin said. “We had a lot of horse flies. That was the main thing. … It looks beautiful.
When Bayfront Park’s dog park was closed, many dog owners took their furry friends to Joan M. Durante Park. However, Durante Park requires dogs to be on a leash.
The dog park at Bayfront Park is the only public area in the town of Longboat Key that allows dogs to legally be unleashed. However, leashed dogs were still allowed in other areas of Bayfront Park when the resodding process was underway.
“It was a long summer not having the park open, but it was the right time of year to do it because it is our low season, and it’s also our rainy season, so it gave the sod the opportunity to really take root,” Larson said.
Perhaps the most important part of the reopening of Longboat Key’s park within a park is the community it brings together. The group recently held a “Yappy Hour” at the park to celebrate its reopening. Larson said they are considering holding a Halloween dog parade.
Lyons said he is appreciative he gets to see familiar faces again each morning.
“(It’s) excellent. It really is,” Lyons said. “Seeing a lot of good friends again. That brings them all together and new friends also for coming to this great park. That’s what it’s all about.”
Farrah Fawcett isn’t the only “movie star” at Bayfront Park either. Joe Post’s dog Chico aka “The Godfather” is considered among the locals as the mascot of the Bayfront Park dog park.
Dog owners told the Longboat Observer that “The Godfather” had good reason for not being in attendance on Friday morning. He had to attend a wedding.
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