Many folks enjoy walking on local trails to get out in nature, exercise, enjoy the flora and fauna, and walk their dogs. The majority (but not all) of Land Trust trails allow dogs on leash, including Crystal Spring Farm. Dogs are required to be kept on leash on properties like Crystal Spring Farm for the enjoyment and safety of other visitors and dogs, and it can make all the difference. Over the years, we have received numerous calls and emails from visitors who have come across dogs off leash that have been aggressive, or have been friendly but not under control which has led to dogs jumping on them. These experiences can be harmful both physically and mentally to people who come to enjoy the trails, but are bombarded with dogs off leash and have their visit turned into a stressful and unsafe experience.
In addition, dogs are required to be leashed to limit their impact on wildlife. Dogs running off leash can damage plants, bird nests, and disrupt feeding or mating animals. In agricultural areas, such as Crystal Spring Farm, off leash dogs may also run through (and defecate in) crop fields and garden beds, ruining crops as well jeopardizing a farm’s organic certification. Off leash dogs are also more likely to defecate off trail, and when your dog goes in the woods, it doesn’t just stay in the woods – eventually it (and its bacteria)can be washed downstream and into our streams and ocean, polluting the clam flats, beaches, and shoreline.
So next time you are visiting one of our trails, please remember to leash your dog – it’s required and essential for dogs to continue to be allowed and makes a big difference when it comes to the safety and enjoyment of anyone else who may be visiting those same trails.
BTLT does not have the staff capacity to monitor dogs and help remind visitors to leash their dogs on all of our properties where they are allowed, so we are looking for folks who frequently walk and enjoy the trails at Crystal Spring Farm (and elsewhere) to help us educate visitors about the importance of their dogs being leashed while visiting Land Trust properties. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.