FARMINGTON — With a goal of maximizing the use of its 22 acres on the Industry Road, the Franklin County Animal Shelter had some logging done this winter.

Clearing some of the trees provides room for a public parking lot on the east side of the new dog park and for development of a new trail system to walk dogs, Executive Director Heidi Jordan said Tuesday.

Forester Peter Tracy mapped out the project with help from a grant from the Natural Resource Council Services. George Merrill and Son did a special job of logging the property, Jordan said.

The shelter also realized an extra $27,000 from sale of the wood, although they didn’t do it for that purpose.

For the next phase, this spring volunteers will be sought to help clear the brush and develop the approximately 1.5 mile trail that meanders through the trees and near the Cascade Stream, she said.

The park and future trail will be open to area residents, their dogs and shelter animals. The trail will also be handicapped accessible.

The animal shelter is often a destination stop for area group homes. It provides a sense of purpose and usefulness for the residents to walk the dogs, especially when done by motorized wheel chair, she said.

“There’s nothing better than to hook a dog to a motorized chair. They can’t pull the chair. They learn to be close to the wheels and motor and are worn out on the walk,” she said of the energy the sheltered dogs need to expend.

The new parking area will be accessible to the public from Route 43, Industry Road.

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