YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Dog lovers in Yorktown have been waiting 10 years for this.
An off-leash dog park is in its final stages in the Sylvan Glen Park Preserve. The 1.3-acre dog park has been approved by the Yorktown Parks and Recreation Commission and the Yorktown Town Board.
David Rocco, the head of the dog park committee, has been one of the leaders in the fight to bring an off-leash dog park to Yorktown.
In 2002, a group of Yorktowners started meeting at FDR State Park having let their dogs run off-leash at the park until being told to stop by park police.
In 2004, the dog owners formed a group and became known as "Friends of the Dog Run at FDR" though little progress was made.
This led to the group approaching the town about a dog park within Yorktown, and in June 2008, the town approved a resolution to create an off-leash dog park.
Many different sites throughout town were proposed for the dog park, but it was not until April that Sylvan Glen Park Preserve was selected.
In October, BOCES Forestry students cut down dead and selected trees and removed brush from the park. On Oct. 26, "Make a Difference Day," Yorktown residents gathered to help with further park cleanup.
"The 400+ members of Yorktown Community Dog Park group can bring their four legged friends to the Sylvan Glen Paw Park," Rocco said.
A soft open is taking place sometime this month with a grand opening celebration taking place in spring 2014. Rocco also plans to have a dedication for the dogs that passed away during the process of getting the dog park.
Rocco said it is important for dogs to be able to run free.
"It's been proven that dogs need to run off their leash without being restricted," Rocco said. "It makes them better dogs. They are full of energy and aggression, they need to find a way to get it out of their system."
Rocco said this allows dogs to socialize with other dogs and said dog parks are a great way for people to meet other people.