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THE COURIER/Photos by Steve Mosco
Senator Michael Gianaris and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer get attention from some new friends.

A place to meet and socialize is important for members from all Queens communities – even four-legged ones. That is why elected officials and community leaders transformed a once “ruff” looking dog run into one that canines will agree is through the “roof.”

“This is great. There is so much more space,” said Mitzi Copeland, a Long Island City resident whose dog Stanley took full advantage of a completely-refurbished Vernon Boulevard Dog Run. “She usually meets her friends here and now they have a lot more room to run.”

Stanley and her friends joined Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, October 6.

Renovations to the park and dog run include new separate fenced-off areas for large and small dogs, drinking fountains for dogs and their owners, new lighting, new covered trash cans, shade structures, leveled-off grounds and a new dog-friendly gravel surface – all of it situated in a space more than double the size of the old run.

Sadie, a Bermese Mountain dog, showed her howling appreciation with a few hearty romps before sprawling on the ground while her friends bounded around.

“This is the Rolls Royce of dog parks,” said Sadie’s owner’s father, Laurence. “They need more places like this – dogs need to socialize, they need exercise in order to be happy.”

There were plenty of happy dogs present, including one very friendly dog named Reese who welcomed Van Bramer and Gianaris with a very wet token of her appreciation.

“Thank you Reese for the big kiss when I got here. It was a very special moment for all of us,” said Van Bramer. “This new dog run will give the many dog owners in the growing and vibrant neighborhood of Long Island City a newly designed and expanded space for dogs and their owners to exercise safely in.”

Construction on the park cost $150,000 and was funded by the Queens West Development Corporation (QWDC) with collaboration from New York State Parks Department and DOG LIC.

“Dog lovers rejoice!” said Gianaris. “The new Vernon Boulevard Dog Run makes it clear that Long Island City is a pet-friendly community. As western Queens continues to grow and develop more resources for community use, I encourage everyone to visit this new dog run and experience for themselves all the great things this park and the surrounding neighborhood have to offer.”


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