In the spring of 2011, Fugazzie, the founder of Neighbors-helping-Neighbors, a job support and networking group, organized support to bring a dog park to the county park so that residents from Paramus, River Edge, New Milford and Oradell could have easy access for a place to bring their pets. A place, Fugazzie envisioned, where dogs and their owners could meet to socialize. The idea of a dog park is to provide a place for dogs to play without a leash. There are a few in the county already, in Ridgewood, as well as in Leonia, Lyndhurst and Woodcliff Lake.
Knowing the size of the dog-owning population, Fugazzie was confident that he could draw a crowd to back the dog park.
"It's a dog owner's version of the downtown community," Fugazzie had told Patch.
With the help of River Edge Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo, who went to the surrounding towns garnering support for the idea, and Councilwoman Kathleen Murphy, the Van Saun dog park was complete in two years.
Building upon his vision of establishing a dog park at Van Saun, Fugazzie also created BergenDog.org, a volunteer organization focused on creating events to help educate people on dog ownership, rescues and shelters. Part of the mission of this group is to hold fundraising events where the proceeds can go directly to help dog rescues and shelters in Bergen County, as well as to educate dog owners and share information to improve the experience of dog ownership.
The Dog Park is located at the end of Parking Lot 6.