By TIMES STAFF
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — After three years’ anticipation, a number of Cape Ann’s four-legged residents — and, yes, their owners — stepped up Saturday to open Gloucester’s new dog park within the confines of Stage Fort Park.
The opening capped a persistent grass-roots effort initially launched in 2010 by residents Mary Lou Maraganis and Judi Masciarelli, who founded a nonprofit called Friends of Gloucester Dog Park and led the fund-raising efforts to make the park a reality. While the city donated the use of the corner of Stage Fort Park near the basketball courts, the facility has been built entirely with privatey raised money, including a grant of $100,000 from the Boston-based Dusky Foundation.
The park, which is now open daily from dawn to 9 p.m., includes separate “off-leash” areas for dogs of both over and under 25 pounds, and a special needs and training area for “not ready for the dog park, dogs that need special training and time to adjust,” according to the Friends website.