Whenever Mary Jane Sansevere heads to her car, her boxer-shepherd mix Niki gets excited.
That’s because Niki thinks it’s another trip to the Niskayuna dog park, Niki’s owner said.
Before, those trips had to be confined to daylight hours, or aided with strategically aimed car headlights.
Now, though, through an effort by dog park users and help from the town, there are lights.
“We were just there last night, it was so cool,” Sansevere said this week. “They installed all six lights, not just one. They went above and beyond.”
The town completed installing the lights recently, using existing poles and existing wiring. With that, the project cost less than $600, Town Board member Denise Murphy McGraw said.
The lights themselves also each have motion sensors, meaning they only come on when someone is there.
Users of the dog park began lobbying the town for the lights last fall. Sansevere and her husband got Niki last summer and began frequenting the park, meeting all the regulars.
They even put up a Facebook page, Friends of the Niskayuna Dog Park, which had 56 likes as of Friday.
As winter came, though, it started getting darker earlier, effectively limiting the time dogs could have their fun at the park.
That’s when Sansevere and other members got the idea to ask the town for the lights.
The lights have been in addition to another add-on to the park last year, a small covered area.
“We just put a roof on it and the Friends ended up finishing it and putting three walls around it,” McGraw said of the shelter. “So it’s just really turned out to be a terrific partnership.”
The Niskayuna dog park is located on a grassy stretch of Blatnick Park, behind the Niskayuna transfer station. The area is fenced in.
With the fencing and other expenses, the park originally cost $13,000. The town created it after a group of dog lovers then lobbied for it.
Only dogs from Niskayuna are to use the park, with owners to purchase a tag from the town, proceeds going toward upkeep. Tags are $30 for the first dog, $15 for each additional dog. Tags can be purchased at Town Hall.
Niskayuna resident Glenn Busby takes his schnauzer Merlin to the park frequently. The lights, he said, will allow them to stay out longer.
“It makes a huge difference,” Busby said.